BY FREDA MIKLIN
At its regular meeting on August 7, the GV City Council unanimously agreed to enter into a contract with Ting Internet LLC to install optic Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) across the City of Greenwood Village. The project is expected to take three years to complete. Digging in the right-of-way to install the FTTP will begin this month on the city’s east side. On September 15, it was announced that Sundance Valley will be the first neighborhood in which the new service will be available to residents who wish to subscribe to it.
GV District One Council Member Dave Bullock leads the city’s Infrastructure Committee, which, like the city’s other two standing committees, is comprised of four city council members. Bullock has been looking into options to maximize the quality of high-speed internet to GV residents for the past few years. After it was determined that fiber optic cable was the best way to “future-proof” high speed internet access, Ting submitted a bid to provide it and, after discussion, the city accepted it.
According to a press release from the city:
Ting has committed to deliver “up to one gigabyte per second download and upload speeds simultaneously;”
Greenwood Village has committed to pay Ting up to $5 million if it meets its installation timetable.
Once it is available, Ting will offer its service to GV residents for a guaranteed price of $89/month “for five years…and indefinitely waive connection fees for all residents.”
At the August 7 meeting, Patrick Mulhern, Ting’s director of public policy and network engagement, talked about Ting’s “100% direct fiber for reliable and light-speed connectivity,” its 24/7 customer service, and its ability to bring not one, but two-gigabyte connections both upstream and downstream for $89/month.
He also told the council that, “Typically, when we enter a market, market forces take over and you see higher speeds and lower costs for everyone. The incumbents…lower their prices and improve their services.”
In addition to its residential service, Mulhern also said Ting will offer “standard small business rates,” as well as a “dedicated Ting website for Greenwood Village for placing orders and customer service with contact information and live support.” He also noted that the company has received 89% favorable customer service scores over the past 12 months.
GV City Manager John Jackson told The Villager that the city looked at lifestyle changes that include working from home in high-tech fields, telemedicine, stock trading, and education as examples of why there is a need for reliable higher speed internet for GV residents. Fiber internet, he explained, uses fiber-optic cable containing glass filaments instead of copper wires to transport data to and from a computer, and the glass filaments use light signals that are much faster and more reliable than traditional cable internet, which uses coax cable.
Ting will need to place its fiber-optic cable underground in the right-of-way throughout the city, but Jackson expects the digging to be minimal and Ting has given the city assurances it has put funds aside to fix any problems it causes during the installation.
GV District One City Council Member Paul Wiesner told The Villager, “Fiber optic is the best way to get internet into the home because of its capacity and speed. Cable can never catch up.” He continued, “It’s hard to get companies to compete against Comcast to bring fiber optic cable to all GV residents. The further the houses are apart, the more expensive it is to do it. This will give homeowners a choice and bring in competition to Comcast, resulting in better service and cheaper rates. Comcast will lower its rates and over time, fiber optic is best.”
Wiesner and Jackson both believe it is well worth the $5 million GV has committed to the project, which includes the city getting its own stand-alone fiber-optic system to connect all its traffic cameras, traffic lights, and soon-to-be-installed license plate readers, along with other technology, to systems in its maintenance facility at 10001 E. Costilla Avenue, as well as City Hall, where its finance operations, community development staff and inspectors, municipal court, and police department are housed.