REXBURG, Idaho (KIFI) – The City of Rexburg is embarking on an upgrade to its communication infrastructure by installing over 20 miles of fiber optic cable throughout the city in order to link city facilities and assets.
The new fiber optic communication infrastructure will allow the city to securely monitor and access buildings, security cameras and other remote assets in real time. This ability will allow the city to be more efficient in delivering services, reduce down times and allow city employees to be more productive.
“The City is always looking for ways to be more efficient and save tax payer money,” Rexburg Mayor Jerry Merrill said. “Right now, we either don’t have a means of monitoring some remote locations or are using old cellular technology to monitor more critical ones.”
Sending out a crew to check on an asset daily is not efficient, and over time, can really add up in terms of man hours lost and wages paid, Mayor Merrill said.
This project is being funded through federal funds given to the city through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021.
The City of Rexburg awarded the design and management of the project to Silver Star Communications, out of Freedom Wyoming, who won a competitive bid. Silver Star will manage sub-contractors who will be installing the fiber around the city. Construction is scheduled to begin in April 2022 and be completed by November of 2023.
The fiber optic cable will be installed primarily in the public right of way, or within utility easements on private properties. The cable will, in most cases, be buried 36 inches deep using directional boring, and open trenching in undeveloped areas. Handholes (in ground utility boxes) will be installed along the fiber optic route. Around 190 properties will be affected by this project.
“The contractors will repair damage caused by installing the cable along the fiber route. The contractor will bore under paved driveways and other hard surfaces. Damage will be repaired as soon as the conduit is laid and the fiber is pulled,” Mayor Merrill said.
Fiber typically lasts for several decades, and the City has taken advantage of federal funding to ensure the fiber optic cable that is being installed is robust enough to serve future growth. Once installed, property owners should not have to worry about further disruptions, other than authorized accessing of the handholes from time to time.
“This fiber optic project will serve as the foundation for better services for not only the City but other public agencies as well as for the community,” Mayor Merrill said.
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