(COLORADO SPRINGS) — To keep the community connected, Colorado Springs Utilities (Springs Utilities) is now in the process of building a city-wide modern fiber network.
The $600 million project is expected to give internet consumers another choice in providers, and faster internet speeds.
Over the next six years, 2,000 miles of internet fiber will be constructed under the city, with 80% of it underground.
“It’s fantastic to see these bore rigs putting conduit into the ground,” said Brian Wortinger, Springs Utilities fiber optics telecommunications manager. “It’s been a two-and-a-half year labor of love.”
Springs Utilities factored in construction cost, utility need, and efficiency of the project. The original estimate was $450 million.
“All of that would have fallen on our ratepayers,” Wortinger said. “Instead we chose to look at a different model, one that was tested in Huntsville, Alabama.”
Tested in Alabama and modified in Missouri, Colorado Springs is now the third city using the modern fiber model. The model meets utility company needs while leasing the fiber to major network companies.
“It’s going to cost $600 million for the total project, instead of $450 million,” Wortinger said. “We’re getting internet service providers and other telecommunications companies to lease the space in our network, which we hope will more than pay for the cost of putting this infrastructure into the ground.”
The general contractor behind the project, ADB Companies will do all the heavy lifting.
The goal? Providing faster service and another internet choice for consumers.
“Everyone wants to control their fiber destiny and not rely on somebody else,” said John Naccarato, ADB’s Chief Revenue Officer.
“We’ve built out numerous infrastructure builds very similar to this for large carriers,” Naccarato said. “We’ve also done other city-wide networks across the country.”
The first leg of the six-year project takes place on North Woodmen road and West of Union Boulevard, with fiber heading into the city.
For those living in the city with construction worries, Springs Utilities will place door hangers in your neighborhood 72 hours in advance.