BVU's initial fiber deployment linked local government and school buildings. According to a study done at that time, this yielded annual savings of $156,000. Today, says Lane, some connections between local schools are operating at data rates as high as 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps. The school's fiber links, he says, have enabled testing and other applications that could not be supported by the T-1 links on which they previously relied.
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Though the public power utility owns this network, it does not offer services. The network, which currently services municipal locations, schools, and some 75 businesses with Internet access, leaves independent providers to provide the actual services. They welcome major carriers like Comcast and Verizon, who have thus far refused to use open access networks to expand their customer base.
Currently, the network has a single service provider, though the utility has spoken with others and expects more service providers to join the network when it begins making residential connections.
As for when it will begin offering residential access, the City Council will discuss that on July 6 in a work session. The Utility has recommended the City start the next phase, servicing some 2,000-3,000 homes.