The Broadband Task Force officially kicked off its fiber feasibility study with CTC Technology and Energy last month.
The Task Force met with CTC Sept. 7 and mapped out how the next six months will go during the study and what Internet options the Task Force may be able to recommend to the Spring Hill City Council early next year.
The Task Force, with assistance from City staff, will work with a team of six people throughout the course of the study. The study will include development of a system-level fiber to the premises (FTTP) design and cost estimate, a business case for candidate network and development of policies and presentation and written report as well as ranges of business models, evaluation of financing and funding options and legal and regulatory considerations. It is expected to be complete in December or early January.
Options for better Internet speeds could range from making Spring Hill a more fiber-friendly community to potentially attract more Internet service providers or developing a city-run utility. The Task Force will examine the pros and cons of each model in addition to others to determine a recommendation.
“… Our focus is that we can provide broadband and service to residents as well [as businesses],” Melanie Landis, City finance director, said. “We want it to affect all of Spring Hill not just our business community. That’s something we made very clear in our expectations of the study is to make sure that’s included. While it may be somewhat of a challenge, I’m certain there are some creative ways to see that we can open the door for some additional service options.”
Currently, CTC is working with City staff to gather information, data and materials. The next step in the study will be designing a network and cost estimate.
The Broadband Task Force will meet 7 p.m. Oct. 24 for its next regular meeting.