Members of Lexington’s Urban County Council were updated on city’s plans to build a high-speed fiber optic network at a workshop Friday.
Having examined several different models, official said a public-private partnership would be the best way to fund the network (estimated cost of $200-250 million), which would provide citywide internet access at gigabit-level speeds. Because of the financial risk that comes with expanding to underserved areas, Chief Information Officer Aldona Valicenti suggested two different ways for the city to take on some of the costs. Either provide financial incentives for companies like Time Warner Cable and Windstream to upgrade their networks to fiber-optic, or have the city take care of the initial construction as a public works project.
"I think that in many cases, doing the right of way, the coring, the cabling, and whatever else you gotta do, it’s not what most investors want to do, and we do it every day ‘cause we fix all the roads and we pave and do all that," she said.
Valicenti says her team is currently working on a request for proposals, which they aim to release in two weeks.