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Holland reviews $63M municipal fiber network expansion

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A municipal, residential fiber optics network may be a possibility in Holland, according to a study presented at a recent Holland City Council meeting.

The Holland Board of Public Works says a $63.2 million dollar investment would expand its fiber optics network to its full residential and business service area. It would cost about $30 million to expand to residents citywide.

The utility currently provides fiber connections to city operations, school districts and some businesses.

Optical fibers can provide faster connection and speeds to consumers compared to cable internet and other options.

The HBPW says it could offer residents one gigabit per second speeds for about $80 a month - much faster, and at less cost than local providers like Comcast or AT&T.

Community group Holland Fiber notes that’s also done without setup costs or equipment rental.

And officials say a competitive marketplace is part of the idea – if they can offer lower prices, maybe the providers will do so as well.

The network has been a goal for the city; emphasized again in recent fiscal planning documents.

A pilot fiber project in downtown Holland started in January.

Holland officials say the plan is in early stages - more discussion is expected over the next months.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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