Goodhue & Dakota Counties may collaborate on fiber network

According to a recent article in the Red Wing Republican Eagle

One hundred forty-four strands of optical fiber are being installed between Red Wing and Hastings, and Goodhue County has the option to purchase a portion of them.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday afternoon, Goodhue County commissioners were presented information by Dakota County officials about joining together for the purchase.

It’s one of the rare situations where supply of broadband seems to be outpacing demand – but the county is looking early at making the investment in the future. This is the opportunity…

The fiber is owned by Hiawatha Broadband Communications, but HBC is offering local government agencies the chance to buy 12 of the 144 total strands.

“Much of it’s in place already … and it’s a good opportunity for us to jump on board at a one-time cost,” Goodhue County Information Technology Director Randy Johnson said.

The cost is about $30,000…

Although numbers haven’t been officially negotiated, it is estimated that Goodhue County would contribute $30,000 for the project. The cost would be a one-time fee.

The policymakers are looking into reasons to make the investment…

Since the county already has a fiber connection in the Government Center, the board questioned why more strands would be needed.

“This would enhance that connection,” Asp said.

Still, some commissioners had trouble seeing more than a single advantage to the agreement.

“If somehow a line is cut to the south, we would have fiber to the north. That’s the benefit I see,” Commissioner Ron Allen said.

“That’s just one of the many, many possible benefits,” Johnson responded.

The IT director said there would be potential for connecting phone systems and backing up data with Dakota County, as well as opening up the fiber for economic development to private entities through leasing agreements.

“There’s a million things you could do,” Johnson noted in a follow-up interview after the meeting.

This entry was posted in Community Networks, FTTH, Government, MN 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.

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