I live in St Paul. All summer my street has been torn up for sewer and whatever else – not for fiber. So it is with some annoyance that I announce that St Paul is now looking into a fiber network. Last December, the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners approved funding for the public sector portion of a public private partnership to construct a 120 mile fiber optic network. At the start of this month, St. Paul City Council approved negotiations with Ramsey County that will determine how to lay out and pay for a public-private fiber-optic network.
According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune…
The plan is for the county and city to operate the $14 million government side of the network and Minnesota Fiber Exchange (MFE) to run the private half. The two will split construction costs, but existing cable companies aren’t thrilled with the idea of the city and county subsidizing a competitor. The council unanimously approved the action without discussion.
County and city leaders say a new network will give them long-term control over costs and services. Public officials say they need the network for intergovernmental communications and that it made sense to partner with a private company to share costs of laying the fiber.
I’m thrilled at the possibility of a faster connection – but really wishing folks had been thinking about dig once and the possibility of fiber when the approved what appears to have been (so far) a two-summer stretch of street work.