In order for towers to offer 4G services, a fiber cable is needed, and that is driving a boom in connectivity. Some cities and towns are now building their own high-speed fiber-optic network, including Portsmouth, VA.
The Virginian-Pilot reported that Portsmouth wants to begin building the 55-mile network as early as July, and is now accepting bid proposals for the project. The project’s estimated price tag is $9 million, which should take five years to complete, according to Daniel Jones, the city’s chief information officer.
Jones says over time, a city-owned network will save money, instead of leasing fiber from Cox. The fiber optic network will grant access to faster internet speeds for the public and fire stations, parks, and libraries, allowing employees to work more efficiently.
“This fits right in with council’s vision of becoming a smart city and being prepared for the next generation of technology,” Mayor John Rowe told The Virginian-Pilot.
The project is also part of a regional “fiber ring” partnership between five cities to expand their broadband networks. “What’s great about Portsmouth doing this, is that it does add to the efforts that we are working on with a regional fiber ring,” said Norfolk Councilwoman Andria McClellan. “This effort will start to prove that we can work regionally.”