Thursday, March 7, 2019

$4.1 Million Fiber Network Sits In the Dark

In February 2015, Arlington officials spent $4.1 million to build a 10-mile fiber optic “ConnectArlington” network, aimed at giving local businesses cheaper access to higher-speed internet by offering an alternative to the large ISPs; however, since then, the fiber has gone almost totally unused, reported ARLnow.

Though the county is barred by state law from offering internet service itself, officials envisioned smaller ISPs working with local tech firms to “light” the fiber, providing county businesses with a new option to access the internet at fast speeds. According to a committee of broadband experts, the program design scared off businesses interested in leasing the fiber. 

Eight months ago, the committee presented a report recommending an extensive overhaul of the program’s design. County officials say they’re already working to heed some of the committee’s recommendations, but it remains an open question as to how the county will work to address the problems with ConnectArlington. The network costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to maintain, reported ARLnow

“They have this huge amount of fiber in the ground, and not a single strand of it has been leased,” said Chris Rozycki, a member of the Broadband Advisory Committee that studied ConnectArlington. “It’s like they’ve built an interstate, with no on-ramps or off-ramps.” Continue Reading

No comments:

Post a Comment