Kettering OKs more money for 7-city high-speed internet project

Kettering is adding more than $100,000 to its share of a seven-city regional fiber optics ring that advocates say will save money, help solve crimes, benefit schools and invite business growth.

The internet network would expand on the concept of a 911 system now shared by Centerville and Kettering, said Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC) Executive Director Brian Humphress.

The network is designed to allow MVCC members the opportunity to take advantage of lower internet costs, shared software expenses and shared programming costs. Seven cities are participating in the first phase: Centerville, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro, and West Carrollton. Other cities may join in when it is decided to expand the “ring.”

MORE: Centerville taking steps to prepare for latest generation of super-fast wireless

The fiber ring is estimated to cost $935,000 to build, but costs for partners will be offset by $266,280 in leases from two initial customers, Kettering and Centerville schools, dropping the partner costs to $668,720. Each partner would receive 100Mb service with another 100Mb backup service.

Kettering City Manager Mark Schwieterman said the city had originally budgeted $273,000 and now is adding $116,870 to help fund the project.

“This is being done based upon planned development for the last year-and-a-half,” he said.

Construction is expected to be underway before the end of November, and the ring should be operational by the end of June 2019, according to the MVCC.

MORE: Centerville, Kettering, Miamisburg among cities setting new cell tower standards

The work will allow participating cities to have unique speeds and capabilities for their high-speed internet.

“In this age of communication, speed and capacity are critical components in any system,” Humphress said. “The new network will allow the cities to have high-speed internet - one gigabit and higher - for their operations that can only be provided by optical fiber. Because of the connecting ring, the cities will also be able to negotiate lower costs for this internet service.”

The connections will also allow the cities to share cutting-edge technology such as crime-mapping and GIS software, files, like video from crime scenes and voice-over-internet-protocol telephony that will save each city time and money.

Humphress said the ability to have high-speeds and high-capacity will allow the participating cities to explore and expand into “Smart City” applications, which includes street lighting control, building energy-use efficiency, improved surveillance systems, location-aware information portals, and even enabling smart-vehicle traffic.

“This project has been in the works for many years, and the timing is finally optimal to bring it to fruition,” he explained. “While other individual cities have completed similar projects, this is one of the first multi-jurisdictional fiber networks built in the United States.”

The ring will be made up of existing and new optical fiber that will connect the participating cities. The existing optical fiber includes strands owned by and within some of the cities, plus strands of fiber recently constructed by Independents Fiber Network that runs within and between Miamisburg and Springboro.

“About 18 miles of new network, which will consist of one conduit holding 288 fiber strands, and one empty conduit, will be constructed underground by burrowing or trenching, depending on local conditions,” Humphress said. “This new and existing fiber will create a ‘ring’ that will provide opportunities for high-speed internet and other connections, as well as connecting each member city with the others.”

MORE: New family-oriented position in Kettering sheds light on everyday challenges for residents

About the Author