Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, City Councilor Jesse Lederman, Chief Development Officer (CDO) Tim Sheehan, Deputy CAFO Lindsay Hackett, Chief Information Officer Andrew Doty, Deputy Director of DPW Vinny DeSantis, and Chief of Staff Tom Ashe met today to continue the discussion of a potential feasibility study for the City of Springfield to initiate a Municipal Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) network.
With the growing demand for reliable and affordable internet service and the need to improve local infrastructure that can provide these services to customers, the City of Springfield is reviewing plans to consider a feasibility study for implementing a municipal FTTH network. The study would review such items including but not limited to the current internet equipment and infrastructure in place across the city, gauge public interest, provide a cost analysis on infrastructure investment, review and assess maintenance cost, possible revenue sources, and exploring potential public/private partnerships and collaborations for the benefit of consumers.
Mayor Sarno states, “When the City Council was voting to approve my administrations FY22 budget, City Councilor Jesse Lederman brought up a great idea of capitalizing on potential federal infrastructure funding to review the potential of operating and installing municipal internet options for our residents. Following up on that discussion, Councilor Lederman, myself and key municipal personnel met today to continue that conversation and to review the implementation of conducting a feasibility study on providing our residents with municipal Fiber-to-the-Home network and to see if a municipal network is the best path forward to a future with reliable and affordable internet for our community.”
“Now is the time to ‘set the table’ in anticipation of the federal infrastructure bill/funding coming forward,” Mayor Sarno continued. “In my conversations with Congressman Neal and his continued bipartisan efforts, he/we feel very optimistic on this coming to fruition.”
City Councilor Jesse Lederman stated, "The internet has become an essential utility for families and businesses, and people are tired of being nickel and dimed when it comes to internet access. Fiber is the future of the internet, and now is the time to prepare to ensure all Springfield residents and businesses have the options they deserve for capable, affordable, and high-speed internet service. I am excited to work together with Mayor Sarno and the entire administration to assess all our options as we prepare for the future internet needs of our community."
CDO Tim Sheehan added, “Superfast fiber broadband has the potential to transform cities. Advancing a feasibility study now to assess how best to advance this effort in Springfield will position the city well for future federal and state funding opportunities for this type of infrastructure. By providing the ability to connect to the internet at high speed, our city’s citizens, businesses and the wider community all benefit through greater choice and faster access to services and information.”
“The information obtained through a feasibility study could be very valuable in understanding the needs of the constituents of the City relative to Internet and Broadband needs,” Chief Information Officer Andy Doty said. “With this, the City of Springfield could gauge whether or not the needs of constituents are being met with existing privately held infrastructure or should the City explore implementing its’ own and offer services directly and/or open the fiber network to other businesses. As this is an open network, businesses could offer their services (telecom, internet, TV, etc.) without worrying about the connectivity to homes or businesses.”