Last week, Carver County celebrated their new ARRA-funded fiber network. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports…
The system, called CarverLink, is an 89-mile base ring with 33 miles of lateral lines that crews installed underground during the past two years and hooked up over the past several months.
During a ceremonial ribbon-cutting at the high school last week, Carver County Chair Tim Lynch called it a public-private collaboration that will allow local government to operate more efficiently and at lower cost, and will increase economic development and jobs in the private sector.
Standing nearby, Sen. Amy Klobuchar called the fiber-optic project a “fantastic opportunity” and a perfect example of how federal agencies can partner with local government to improve infrastructure
Carver County is one of those places, close to the Cities, where many of us assume they are connected – but they aren’t entirely…
“Overall, it’s providing a higher level of services and more availability of services,” said Randy Lehs, the county’s broadband fiber project manager. While homes and businesses in cities like Chaska and Chanhassen can choose from several Internet service providers, he said, that isn’t true for more western and rural parts of the county.
Overall, about 38 percent of the county is underserved, Lehs said.
That’s why the county decided to build the fiber-optic ring and successfully received $6 million in federal funds to pay for most of it. It’s also why the county decided to pony up $1.5 million in local funds for the system, instead of continuing to pay up to $300,000 a year to lease a patchwork of lines from private vendors.
Lehs said the county’s financial payback on owning the fiber-optic ring is five years.