fiber optics

Community-Wide Discussion: The Future of the Idaho Falls Fiber Network

Idaho Falls, ID – The City of Idaho Falls is hosting four informational meetings throughout February intended to prompt a community-wide discussion about the future of the Idaho Falls Fiber Network.

The city’s dark fiber network was established in 2002 to upgrade the city’s internal communications capabilities while keeping costs low. It was expanded over the ensuing years until 2007 when access to the network was granted to commercial service providers.

The network has expanded nearly every year since, providing state-of-the-art connectivity to Idaho Falls businesses while facilitating economic development and competitive internet service rates.

Today, 27 of the 30 commercially available pairs of dark fiber are under lease. Eight commercial internet service providers (ISPs) lease access to the network to provide broadband internet of 1 gigabit and beyond to 383 local businesses. In addition, 12 local businesses lease fiber directly from the city to provide network access to 76 locations.

In 2015, Idaho Falls Power enlisted a consultant to explore options for expansions of the network, including options for fiber to the home.

The consultants, Finley Engineering and CCG Consulting, examined the cost of building fiber throughout the city based on a variety of scenarios and a range of options for potential business models for network expansion. Options evaluated include the city as a stand-alone service provider, public-private partnerships between the city and a new or existing ISP and for an open access network similar to the current configuration but expanded to service residences.

At each meeting, Idaho Falls Power staff will provide information on the history of the fiber network, the options for potential network expansion, and results of a recently conducted survey of local customers.  Each meeting will feature an informal, open house format and will be held from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at various locations.

  • Thursday, February 9, Compass Academy, 955 Garfield Street
  • Monday, February 13, Taylorview Junior High School, 350 Castlerock Lane
  • Tuesday, February 21, Idaho Falls High School, 601 S. Holmes Avenue
  • Wednesday, February 22, Skyline High School, 1767 Blue Sky Drive

Media Note: For more information or to schedule an interview with city staff, contact Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon.

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About Idaho Falls Power:  Idaho Falls Power is a municipal electric utility serving the corporate city limits of Idaho Falls, Idaho. The City has operated the utility continuously since its establishment in 1900. Learn more on our website.