The city of Cheney, which began installing a citywide high-speed fiber-optic network last year, has selected a contractor to implement the second phase of that project, which includes linking businesses and residences to the system.
It has awarded a $6.1 million contract to Alloptic Inc., of Livermore, Calif., to install the fiber for the system to virtually all businesses and residences in the city. The system will deliver voice, video, and high-speed Internet services. However, that work wont begin until funds are in place, City Administrator Paul Schmidt says.
Meanwhile, the $12 million to $15 million projects first phase, which includes building the networks backbone and linking the citys eight municipal buildings to it, is nearing completion, Schmidt says. The first phase cost $790,000 and was funded by the city, he says.
Were getting ready to flip the switch, Schmidt says.
Schmidt says he expects citys buildings and employees to go live on the system by the end of this month, barring unforeseen complications.
The project, announced last June by the city, will give Cheney one of the most technologically advanced infrastructures in the country, Alloptic claims. Schmidt says the city hopes the network will attract new businesses to Cheney, which has a population of about 8,500.
The project is being handled by the citys public works department, which selected Alloptic as the contractor for the $12 million second phase.
The company will build the network so that various Internet-service providers can tap into the system and compete for Cheney customers business, the company says.
Schmidt says the schedule for the projects second phase hinges on funding, which he hopes to obtain through U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Utility Service grants. Once the funds are in place, the work would take about 18 months to complete, he says.
Three companies have worked on the projects first phase: Zero dB LLC, of Spokane, which designed the entire fiber-optic network; the Spokane office of Boise-based inTouch Solutions, which has built the networks voice-communication capabilities; and Powercom, a subsidiary of Spokane Electrical Services Co., of Spokane, which has built and installed the fiber-optic cabling.
Cheney, which operates its own electric utility, plans to link the electrical meters of consenting customers to the fiber-optic network so the utility can measure continually the amount of voltage being used on power lines and adjust its output on those lines according to demand, he says.
Were working right now with some new and cutting edge electrical-load-management technology, Schmidt says. There are ways you can reduce electrical load and manage your power better.
Once implemented, the technology could reduce electrical energy consumption by 40 percent during peak times and by 15 percent on a continual basis, Schmidt says.
Ultimately, well be able to have a continual relationship with end users to save energy during peak times and save Cheney electrical customers money, Schmidt says. He says the city expects to implement a pilot program using the technology within this calendar year if weve got all our ducks in a row.
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