There's another player in the world of high speed internet. The City of Delta has entered into a partnership with Western Light and Tower to install optical fiber and infrastructure south of 10th Street from Main to Bluff streets.
According to Betsy Suerth, public works and utilities director for the City of Delta, the installation will provide an affordable internet alternative for residents and small businesses in the area. If the test market proves successful, Western Light and Tower would like to expand the network citywide.
The arrangement requires pole attachment agreements similar to those with Elevate and Clear Network. City manager David Torgler said the pole agreements are designed to be fair to all providers, with the expectation that keeping rates low will result in savings for customers. The city's goal is to provide more competition for high speed broadband, making internet services more affordable for city residents.
The city has agreed to invest in the project by sharing infrastructure and installation costs, in exchange for a portion of the fiber for the city's own needs. Depending on WL&T's success and capital investment capability, full build-out in areas served by municipal light and power could take two to 20 years. The city's cost share for the test area is estimated at $40,650; full build-out is estimated at $500,000. Suerth said a portion of that expense will be offset by the city's ability to better monitor and control electric and water facilities. A smart grid can offer cost savings from demand reduction, and provide staff with valuable information for project planning.