Barkhamsted Connecticut Conducts Municipal Fiber Broadband Feasibility Study

The city is commissioning an infrastructure deployment cost analysis and online broadband survey to gauge community support for city-owned fiber-to-the-home Internet service.

Plainfield, CT – Representatives of Sertex Broadband Solutions work with government officials Town of Barkhamsted, Connecticut, to assess community interest and costs associated with building a city-owned fiber broadband network to connect and serve the entire city. The project will use SertexConnecta planning platform that helps communities begin the complex task of building community-wide fiber networks, conduct a custom broadband survey, and develop an actionable deployment plan.

Barkhamsted is a small bedroom community with approximately 1,650 households, 44 square miles, and nearly 75 miles of roads. Currently, Internet service is available through a single incumbent provider. The goal of the feasibility initiative is to educate residents and business owners about the potential for the city to invest in building an open-access broadband network to provide high-speed internet connections. reliable and affordable to all properties.

Launched in May, Barkhamsted’s online survey will allow visitors to take a speed test from their home or business and then complete a survey that will gauge public interest in building and subscribing to a fibre-to-the-home (FTTX) belonging to the municipality. network. City residents and business owners will be able to access the survey from a link on the Barkhamsted website.

Along with investigating broadband interest, Sertex experts will conduct an FTTX feasibility study in the city. This financial and technical analysis will provide high-level design requirements and costs for the construction of the network, including aerial and underground fiber routes, pole licenses, engineering, fiber drops, equipment and installation, as well as annual operating and maintenance expenses. The resulting financial information will be critical for residents in deciding whether to approve a municipal system, and for the city in applying for funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Don Stein, Barkhamsted First Selectman, said: “The town is very excited to be working with Sertex on this very important project to determine how we can bring broadband internet to Barkhamsted and surrounding communities. In today’s world, fiber optic broadband is becoming essential for those who work from home, go to school from home, or use broadband for entertainment.

“Barkhamsted officials recognize that municipal fiber broadband is an opportunity for freedom and choice. Our goal is to provide the information and data to help the community explore their options and make decisions with confidence,” said Michael Solitro, Founder and CEO of Sertex.

Unlike private company fiber optic internet services, municipal networks provide universal broadband connections and offer more bandwidth at lower rates. Sertex’s public/private partnership model gives communities 100% control over end-user costs, service levels and operational concerns. Ratepayer-approved projects are financed with long-term, low-interest municipal bonds. Infrastructure, maintenance and operating costs are recovered through subscription fees. With enough subscribers, future-proof fiber optic networks are self-sustaining with little or no budget impact.

Melissa C. Keyes