No, the City will not own nor operate a broadband (internet) utility.
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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
Yes, the City spoke with both local internet service providers in Spring Hill. Both companies acknowledged their difficulty in adding more service locations (residential and business addresses serviced) and difficulty in increasing speeds. At that time, they also indicated that their companies were no longer investing capital infrastructure dollars in Spring Hill.
Yes, prior to releasing the RFP, the City spoke to numerous internet service providers and related service contractors. Some of those companies were requested by the Broadband Task Force to make presentations in 2017 to educate members of the Board about broadband options.
The City does not receive infrastructure designs/plans from utility companies or internet service providers in Spring Hill. However, we understand through conversation that there are small areas within Spring Hill that may have fiber.
Gigabit-speed internet is becoming more important as homeowners and businesses rely on streaming videos, conference calls, cloud services, online education, and online chat. With gigabit-speed internet, you can download files, watch movies and TV shows, run point of sale systems or home security systems, connect to business headquarters outside the city, and store information digitally without delays or buffering issues.
At the Nov. 10, 2016, City Council meeting, Mayor Ellis proposed establishing a Broadband Task Force which was approved by the City Council. City Council member Andrea Hughes was tasked with the role of Broadband Task Force liaison. The Broadband Task Force — a group of resident volunteers — was responsible for examining and evaluating the feasibility of establishing either a public broadband utility or a public/private partnership. The Task Force worked through a feasibility study with CTC Technologies, learned about broadband from internet service providers, deliberated about the best options for the residents of Spring Hill, and made a recommendation to the City Council.
The City Council selected CTC Technologies as the firm to conduct a feasibility study determining whether the city should consider creating, owning and operating an internet service utility or to partner with a company to provide additional internet options in Spring Hill.
A feasibility study is performed to evaluate whether a specific action makes sense from an economic or operational standpoint and answers the question, “Should we proceed with the specific action plan?” The study provides an understanding of the risks and can provide management with crucial information that could prevent the company from entering blindly into risky businesses.
The original resolution establishing the Broadband Task Force was a six-month term and was later extended through Sept. 30, 2019. At the Task Force meeting on Sept. 24, 2019, the Task Force felt they fulfilled their original task to make a recommendation to the City Council and voted to not request an extension of their term date.
The areas within the city limits of Spring Hill are impacted by the Broadband Project and the City will continue to work with surrounding jurisdictions to benefit the areas adjacent to our city limits.
RFP is a request for proposal, which is a detailed specification for goods or services required by an organization, sent to potential contractors or suppliers.
No. An RFP provides information and, in some instances, costs for comparison and consideration for possible action by the City.
Use of this document was initially requested by a local Internet service provider in order to secure their design plans from competition. The City prepared a standard document as an exhibit to the RFP in order to save future legal fees on contract reviews that would have been necessary if each respondent had submitted their own document.
Feedback from service providers indicated that access to City-owned assets were important to a successful roll out in Spring Hill. After review of City-owned assets, it was determined the City does not own the necessary land, towers or utility poles often needed for this type of project.
Due to an extensive research process, agencies both in the state of Kansas and nationally offered to assist Spring Hill in distributing the RFP. Many agencies listed below distributed to providers across the nation.
— Community Networks
— Symmetrical Networks
— Smart Wave Technologies
— Sifi Networks
— Lode Rock
— Next Century Cities
— Kansas Fiber Network
— Charter Cable
— Consolidated Communications
— Ervin Cable
— BHC Rhodes
— Sure West
— Schatz Underground
— K&W Underground
— ValuNet Fiber
— Fiber Broadband Association
— Coalition for Local Internet Choice
— Altice (Suddenlink)
— Really Good Fiber (RG Fiber)
— NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration)
— H & B Communications
— Kansas Department of Commerce
— Allo Communication
— EntryPoint, LLC
— K&W Underground
— KS FiberNet
— Lux Network
— Midcontinent Communications
— RG Fiber
— Ubiquity Partners
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The company’s headquarter location had no bearing on the recommendation. While the selected company is headquartered in another state, their proposal met all criteria of the RFP and indicated that they will locate a service office and technicians in the Spring Hill area.
Fiber is simply the infrastructure by which the internet service will travel from the internet service provider to the customer. Dark fiber means that internet service is not traveling across that fiber. When lit, the service travels from the service provider to the customer.
No. The City does not have any access, nor is the City suggesting that we have access, to the residents’ internet.