Underused Fiber Serves As an Affordable Solution

Slow and unreliable Internet service plagued Vernon, California until the city decided to become a local service provider. Throughout the Southern California region, miles of fiber optic cables were being underused.

Recently the city council approved a residential program that allows the already laid cable system to support a fast, affordable and reliable system for residents. Around Vernon, 35 miles of dark and lit fiber had been laid to assist local businesses, but residents were limited to slow DSL connections. By opening up the fiber to homeowners and renters, the city provides these locals with fast broadband connectivity that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.

City officials say that the decision to become an Internet Service Provider allows them to help bridge the digital gap for residents with this small-scale broadband residential service program. Residents have the option to connect to the new program through direct fiber optic connections or via a wireless service connection. The program will be available to all existing and future residences in the city.

Vernon, which is California’s smallest incorporated city, will offer the service for a one-time setup fee of $100 and then $40.65 per month. This is approximately $10 less per month than what residents were paying for DSL connectivity. The city does not expect to make any money on the program. The prices were set only to allow the city to recoup expenses. Officials expect the program to be up and running by November 1 with the fiber optics providing 10 times faster service than DSL.

Finding underused fiber can save cities money in initial installation costs and help improve services for residents. Many cities like Vernon are unsure of how to find fiber in their area. GeoTel Communications’ fiber network mapsfiber lit buildings, and other fiber data sets help government officials analyze local fiber infrastructure so that they can decide how to enhance their city’s high-speed Internet access.