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Houston to install fiber internet service

Wednesday, January 8, 2020   (0 Comments)
Posted by: mpuaonline
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Another community in the south-central Ozarks region is taking its own initiative to build a high-speed internet service for citizens. The Houston City Council approved a contract in late December that will lead to a municipally-owned system to provide high-speed internet to that city’s residents and businesses, as reported Dec. 24 by the Houston Herald.

“A high-speed internet service will provide valuable opportunity for citizens, families and businesses,” said Scott Avery, City Manager for the City of Houston. “The economic development benefits are also substantial. As business and industry looks at growing or locating to the region, the presence of high-speed fiber can give us an advantage over many other communities.”

Houston's fiber-to-the-home system will include speeds up to 1 gigabyte per second (1 Gbps), which are currently unavailable anywhere in Texas County. Other internet services in the city are provided by a handful of commercial providers, but none offer speeds matching those the city plans to provide.

“In our rural communities, offering municipal broadband is an opportunity  for utilities to provide even greater value and service to customers,” said MPUA Vice-President Ewell Lawson. “The City of Houston is to be commended for their foresight and their leadership to encourage economic development.” 

The city’s system should be deployed in about six months. In a first phase of the project, about eight miles of fiber will connect the city’s own buildings, water towers and sewer lift stations, reducing communication costs for the city’s municipal utilities. A second construction phase will provide a loop to connect the rest of the community. The cost of the project will be paid using city reserves that will be repaid from revenue produced by the internet service.

Speaking to the Houston Herald, Rob Harrington, economic development director for the City of Houston, said communities are investing in telecommunication networks for a variety of reasons -including economic development, improving education and healthcare.

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