Digital West and San Luis Obispo Partner for Fiber Services

  • Digital West
SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA — The San Luis Obispo city council approved a comprehensive partnership with local data services provider, Digital West Networks to give downtown businesses access to high-speed fiber optic Internet offerings as well as provide redundant services to five of the city’s public safety facilities. The agreement effectively results in a savings of nearly $350,000 to the city over the next five years. “It also represents a significant advancement in one of the four major objectives of the city’s Economic Development Strategic Plan: to ‘actively support knowledge and innovation’ by increasing access to broadband services,” said SLO Mayor Jan Marx.

Partners Benefit Mutually
“This partnership is a win-win-win scenario,” said Lee U. Johnson, the city’s economic development manager. “The city gets high-speed, redundant fiber services with no upfront or long-term costs, Digital West gains the right to use the city’s existing air space (available conduit space) to expand its fiber network, and more local businesses get access to fast, reliable broadband service.” The agreement also grants the city the use of a portion of Digital West’s fiber strands to allow the city to grow its fiber network in the future.

The agreement stems from a request for proposals the city distributed in April 2011 designed to generate revenue from communications companies by leasing available underground city conduit space, including the 4-inch water reuse conduit that runs from Prado Road to the Damon - Garcia Sports Complex on Broad Street. Digital West had already had a previous agreement with the city to exchange fiber services in exchange for conduit, and their response to the RFP proposed a significant expansion of that agreement.

Access to City Conduit
Access to the city’s conduit enables Digital West to install additional fiber and close gaps in its existing fiber ring. In a complete fiber ring, if the cable is cut or damaged in some way, it does not interrupt city services. The fiber optic signal simply reverses direction on the ring so quickly that users don’t notice a degradation of service. “With services as critical as those provided by our police and fire departments, we need to have redundancy in the event the main network is down,” said Johnson. Robust fiber connectivity throughout the city also positions San Luis Obispo as a viable region to conduct business and provides a huge opportunity for economic growth.

In exchange for access to city conduit, Digital West will assume approximately $500,000 in construction and installation expenses as well as continue to provide the city with the monthly services from the previous agreement, including storage, system monitoring, failover support and server hosting, valued at $6,000 per month.

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