City Administrator Greg Smith said the idea originated last fall when the fiber broadband company Tachus approached the city about providing fiber connections to a couple of subdivisions to achieve faster Internet speeds. Soon, however, the whole city was slated to have fiber Internet as part of the project.
Tachus is providing gigabit Internet service—a broadband Internet service delivered over fiberoptic lines—to Shenandoah residents in Silverwood Ranch, Silverwood Ranch Estates and Boulevard Green.
Once the city finds a provider and fiber to the home is available, residents who sign up and pay for Internet will soon all have fiber to the home Internet.
Smith said the council held two town hall meetings in late January and early February to go over resident questions and comments. City staff then created a timeline and recommendations for the project.
“Once we get a provider identified, we’ll be able to look at getting a conduit for the fiber to connect to all homes,” Smith said. “We put a [request for qualifications] and [request for information] out right now to determine interest from providers.”
Existing wired Internet service providers for Shenandoah include Xfinity, Charter, U-Verse and Consolidated Max. One universal provider will be used throughout the city to provide the fiber service.
“Fiber to the home and the gig service are a great addition for multiple reasons,” Smith said. “It’s reliable Internet speed that allows people to work from home, and the way people do entertainment will be more Internet-based in the future. You can go to Hulu and watch TV with this service because the speeds are there.”
The council is expected to complete the RFQ and RFI by April 1. When the conduit is installed in the city, it will only be added in the right of way, which will be within 5 to 10 feet of the curb.
Once a resident signs up with the selected Internet provider, the fiber will run on the resident’s property and into the home and connect to a modem. Older wireless and wired routers will need to be upgraded to allow for gigabit speed.