City of Sandy, OR, to Build Fiber to All Homes and Businesses

  • FTTH
SANDY, OR - The city of Sandy, with a population of just under 10,000, will soon offer "the best Internet value in Oregon,” according to a city council member. It has entered into an agreement with i3 America to provide fiber-based Internet service to all homes and businesses.

The city plans to offer its SandyNet residential 100 Mbps fiber service for $39.95 per month. Prices
for business services will range from $69.95 up to $499.95 per month for 1 Gbps service. “This will be, by far, the best Internet value in Oregon,” says city council member Jeremy Pietzold, who also serves as chair of the advisory board for the city-operated ISP, SandyNet.

Sandy has offered broadband service to its residents and businesses for a decade. Though this small, rural town is only 25 miles outside Portland, it had no Internet service options available other than dial-up. Today, the city provides Wi-Fi residential Internet service, with access points mounted on street lights, and fiber-based service to businesses.

The demand on SandyNet increased exponentially as homes and businesses began to need more bandwidth for video uses that range from entertainment and marketing to security systems. At the same time, the city's backhaul capacity to the Internet expanded when Clackamas County built a stimulus-funded middle-mile network.

“Sandy is a great place to live and to own a business,” says Sandy Mayor Bill King. “We believe that world-class broadband service is absolutely key to the future success of our city.” Now, affordable fiber-based Internet service will made possible by i3’s use of city sanitary and storm sewer pipes as conduit to extend fiber optic cable into neighborhoods. i3's patented “focus” system uses armored cable designed to withstand a harsh environment without interfering with the operation of the pipe system.

The parent company of i3 America, based in the United Kingdom, has installed fiber-based systems throughout the world. Midwestern U.S. cities, including Quincy and Gilberts, Ill., have initiated fiber projects using i3’s technology. Sandy is the first West Coast city to offer it.

A City With Vision
Last year, Sandy sponsored a “Why Wait for Google?” contest to gauge interest in fiber Internet service and to select a neighborhood for a pilot program. Residents in every neighborhood
expressed interest in the service, and i3 approached the city with a proposal to extend fiber to every building in the town. Elfed Thomas, president and CEO of i3, comments, “I’m impressed
by the vision shown by the city of Sandy. We believe our technology, combined with our financial approach, is a model that will be adopted by all cities. The key to any FTTH build is cost; our
technology provides that crucial foundation allowing the Sandy Fibercity to offer cost-effective services to Sandy citizens.”

The city and i3 expect construction to begin in early spring of 2013, with service available to most neighborhoods by the end of 2013. As with Google’s fiber installation in Kansas City, Sandy’s
service will be deployed first to the neighborhoods showing the highest interest.

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