Monticello is Voting on Fiber Tomorrow

The city of Monticello needs 65 percent of voters’ support Tuesday to construct a citywide fiber optic network that would provide Internet, cable and telephone services. You can read all about it on the St Cloud Times Online.

Here’s a little bit of an inside scoop from the August Blandin Foundation eNews:

The City of Monticello has been working on a Fiber to the Premises project over the last year with the goal of creating a City owned enterprise to offer telephone, television and very high speed Internet services. The City Fiber Optics Committee has set a date for a community referendum on the formation of a local telephone exchange that will take place on September 18th. The outcome will be important for determining if the City itself will offer voice services. For more information contact Lynne Dahl Fleming at 763 300 8118, Information and Education, City Fiber Optics Committee, or Milda Hedblom, consultant to the City Fiber Optics Committee, 651 645 5051.

This entry was posted in FTTH, Get Broadband, MN, Rural by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

3 thoughts on “Monticello is Voting on Fiber Tomorrow

  1. Pingback: Monticello City Referendum for the Telephone Exchange PASSED! « Blandin on Broadband

  2. Monticello City Referendum for Telephone Exchange Passes with 74% Approval

    On Tuesday, September 18, 2007 a referendum was held asking city residents if they approved of the City owning and operating its own telephone exchange planned as a part of the fiber optic network. The Citizens answered with an outstanding 74% voting “Yes”.

    For more than two years, the City of Monticello has been researching the feasibility of constructing a city-wide fiber optic network that would offer service to every home and business including: telephone, Internet and Cable TV. The only way for City residents to hold ownership in this telephone service, by Minnesota State Statute, was for residents to vote on and approve a referendum by 65% or more.

    The proposed city-wide fiber optic network will be financed with revenue bonds which are to be paid back by revenues generated from those taking telephone, cable TV and Internet services without a pledge of City taxes. Revenue bonds from private investors will be utilized for the fiber network project and were considered the best protection for the City taxpayer.

    The Monticello telephone referendum passing with a high level of support, at 74% approval, is a favorable contribution to the financing of the city-wide fiber optic project. The City’s financial advisor, Brenda Krueger from Springsted Incorporated is confident revenue bonds can be successfully sold.

    NEXT STEPS for the Monticello City-wide Fiber Optic Network Project:

    The next steps for the fiber optic network project include engineering and layout of the City-wide network, financing the network and constructing the network. This means that a firm will be selected to do the detailed design of the system and to prepare the necessary drawings to begin construction. That is expected to take at least six months.

    At the same time the City’s Finance Team will be working to prepare the information needed to be provided to the prospective bond buyers whose purchase of the bonds would finance the construction and launch of the City-wide system. This includes information on how voice, video and data services would be provided, operations management and marketing. It is estimated that about four months are needed from the time the referendum passes to the time financing is likely to be completed.

    The process of selecting an engineering firm and completing the design will occur concurrently with the financing process, with the intent that the design of the system is near completion at the same time the City receives bond proceeds to finance the construction.

    Construction of the City-wide network will begin after the City receives the money from the sale of bonds. It is anticipated that full construction will take 18 months including the construction of the necessary building to house the City’s electronics and to lay the fiber optic cable throughout the City. The time it takes to construct the system will also depend on the time of year construction begins because all the fiber optic cable will be bored underground, which must be done without frost in the ground.

    It is anticipated that the first homes and businesses could be connected to the new fiber optics system within 20 to 24 months after the approval of the referendum (early summer 2009).

    More information regarding the Monticello city-wide fiber optic network project can be found at the website: http://www.MonticelloFiber.com or by calling Monticello City Hall at 763-271-3204.

  3. Lynn,

    This is fantastic – both the news and the update. Thank you so much for taking the time to send it on.

    I especially want to think you for the next steps – I think it’s interesting for any city (region, area…) that is thinking about a broadband build-out to see the list of tasks and the timeline for an actual event – especially one in Minnesota.

    Thanks! Ann

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