AMERICAN FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - The City of American Falls and Direct Communications announced a public/private partnership that will bring fiber-optic broadband to 1,474 homes in American Falls.
"Technology is the future, and we have to get on the bandwagon," Mayor Rebekah Sorensen said.
In all, Direct Communications will be laying 300,000 feet of fiber using a new method of installation called micro trenching. This technique, which is an alternative to boring, is used to dig a small trench in the roads. This enables crews to avoid existing utilities and allows the fiber to be built quicker and more efficiently.
"Direct Communications already has a solid commercial network through American Falls, so the city is a natural fit for a fiber-to-the-home network," Direct Communications Marketing Manager KaLee Ralphs said. "We are excited to get to work and get residents access to the fastest broadband available."
Work is set to begin in January, and announcements will be made bi-weekly as to where work will progress. Drops to the home usually cost around $1,300-$1,500 per home but luckily for the residents of American Falls that cost is completely paid for.
"One item of note is that having fiber access to a home adds resale value," Ralphs said. "Residents aren't required to take Direct's service, but it would be in their interest to have the fiber installed while the installation fee is covered. You can always call up Direct and have service quickly turned on at a later date if the fiber is already installed."
Residents won't automatically have fiber installed without consent. In order to receive this installation, residents must fill out a property access form which can be found on the residential tab at directcom.com. A construction kick-off is set for January 20 at 12 p.m. in the American Falls City Park. Residents can come to see the micro-trenching equipment in action and ask questions at this time.