Town of Chapel Hill North Carolina Executive Summary
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Meeting Date: 3/19/2012

Title of Agenda Item: Fiber Optic Business Plan.  

Council Goal: Maintain and Improve Community Facilities and Services

Background: This item is an update concerning the planned use of the Town’s additional fiber optics cable that was installed with the fiber optic traffic signal network.  The potential  use of the fiber network needed to be reassessed after the North Carolina State Legislature passed House Bill 129, the “Level Playing Field” law. The law prohibits local governments from providing broadband services that “compete” with corporate providers. Essentially the Town has a much narrower range of options with respect to using its fiber to provide services to the public. This report will outline the remaining possible uses.

Fiscal Note: The cost of laying the Town's additional fiber cable was included in the Traffic System Upgrade Project, the total cost of which was $5,175,000.  The estimated incremental cost of adding the additional fiber is $433,262.  Funding for the overall project included $5,085,000 in grants and $90,000 in Town CIP funds.  

The additional cost of activating the Town Fiber Network is about $240,000.  This represents the cost of new data switches, funding for these switches has been requested in the FY13 CIP.  Activation of the Town Fiber Network will eliminate the use of leased data lines that will save the Town about $73,000 per year  

Recommendations: That the Council receive this report on the Fiber Optics Business Plan.

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Fiber Optic Business Plan