Last week I got a chance to talk with David Asp at Dakota County. He has been busy expanding fiber in and around Dakota County and deploying applications on that fiber. Lately he’s been working West St Paul and Inver Grove Heights areas. He’s working with TIES and the tech colleges. He’s been working with 350 traffic signals, weather sensors through the Chanhassen National Weather Center and backup plans with other counties to promote redundancy and security of data. He is working on lists and maps of local businesses to make it easier for someone to provide better broadband to them too.
It’s always interesting to talk to David. One of the things that caught my attention this conversation was the costs saving we talked about. David works for Dakota County. When he started they had bills of $700,000 for telecom costs. He has been whittling down that number by building fiber and having the state take on the job of managing the connectivity. Dakota County now spends $15,000 on telecom costs. It doesn’t happen overnight and clearly that $15,000 doesn’t include the capital costs of building fiber – but that’s a heck of a reduction!