Spring Hill residents and businesses consistently expressed concern over internet service in Spring Hill from the two existing internet service providers. Those concerns, confirmed by an information survey of residents and businesses, included:
- Slow internet speeds between the hours of 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
- The inability to stream without buffering
- New service requests being turned down in areas where only one provider existed
- Extended delays for technicians responding to service issues
- Existing businesses using costly T-1 (see definition) lines for faster speeds
- Cost of internet service options
- Inability to work from home
- Inability to run a small business from home
- Inability to take online classes
- Why did the City get involved?
- Did the City talk to the existing internet providers before moving ahead with this project in 2017?
- Did the City talk to other internet providers before releasing the RFP?
- Do existing internet service providers in Spring Hill have fiber networks?
- Why is fiber important?
- Why is gigabit speed important?
- What due diligence was performed?
- What was the purpose of the Broadband Task Force?
- Why was a feasibility study performed?
- What is a feasibility study?
City Facilities CIP Project
The City contracted with Suddenlink in 2014 to construct fiber between city facilities including City Hall, Police Department, Public Works, and the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Suddenlink owns the fiber and therefore is the only internet service provider the City can use. Suddenlink internet service for City operations are priced higher than other companies would charge, and the City cannot switch providers because we do not own the fiber between our buildings.
Staff began researching ways to reduce the cost of monthly internet costs and found that many agencies including school districts, cities and county governments own their own fiber connection between facilities. Cost savings come from bidding their internet service to multiple providers, ultimately driving down their cost of monthly internet service. The project was proposed to the City Council in 2019 and approved to include the cost of design and construction in the five-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for 2020-2024.
The Return-on-Investment analysis is based on estimates only as true costs will be dependent upon service provider bids and vendor equipment.
Broadband Task Force
Spring Hill residents and businesses consistently expressed a need for better broadband speeds, service, and options. At the Nov. 10, 2016, City Council meeting, Mayor Ellis proposed establishing a Broadband Task Force. The City Council approved this request, and seven members were appointed to the new task force at the Jan. 12, 2017 Council meeting.
The Broadband Task Force — a group of resident volunteers — is responsible for examining and evaluating the feasibility of establishing either a public broadband utility or a utility through a public/private partnership. In January 2017, the group began meeting monthly, working with City staff and a consultant to explore and evaluate potential options to bring better internet speeds to Spring Hill. The Broadband Task Force made their final recommendation to the City Council on Feb. 15, 2018.
In Fall 2019, the Broadband Task Force ended their term, completing their initial mission. City staff and the Governing Body continue to move forward on the recommendation.
At their Sept. 24, 2019 regular meeting, the Broadband Task Force ended their term. View past Broadband Task Force agendas and minutes.
- Julia Atwell
- Mark Bye
- Ricardo Cortez
- Kyle Griffin
- Brian Peel
- Carol Thomas, Chair
Sept. 13: Spring Hill Broadband RFP Questions and Answers
Aug. 12: City issues RFP for high-speed broadband
May 23: City Council votes to move forward with Request for Proposals for broadband
Nov. 27: City, Broadband Task Force still on pace with recommendation
Feb. 16: Broadband Task Force makes recommendation to City Council
Dec. 27: Financial analysis of fiber models presented to Broadband Task Force
Nov. 22: Broadband Task Force presented with first fiber options
Nov. 1: Task Force schedules special meeting
Oct. 1: Broadband Task Force kicks off fiber feasibility study
Aug. 1: Council accepts bid for fiber feasibility study
City Councilwoman Andrea Hughes’ presentation to Kansas Senate Utilities Committee March 2018
Joanne Hovis, president of CTC Technology and Energy, testifying before U.S. House, mentioning Spring Hill January 2018
Final presentation from CTC Technology and Energy 2018
Dec. 12, 2017 presentation from CTC Technology and Energy
Nov. 16, 2017 presentation from CTC Technology and Energy
CTC Technology and Energy Broadband Feasibility Study — Final report