Construction begins on Fort Dodge Fiber | News, Sports, Jobs - Fort Dodge Messenger

Summary

Construction crews will begin breaking ground this week on Fort Dodge Fiber, the city’s new municipal broadband network.

Five directional boring crews will begin digging to place orange conduit to build a fiber ring. According to Jeremy Pearson, director of Fort Dodge Fiber, this ring will be used to create a redundant fiber connection — beginning and ending at a data center which will be housed inside the Municipal Building. Vaults and hand holes will also be placed in the ground to allow Fort Dodge Fiber the ability to store extra cable slack for future fiber maintenance. Thirty-seven above ground cabinets will also be strategically placed around the city to service homes and businesses.

Construction crews will begin breaking ground this week on Fort Dodge Fiber, the city’s new municipal broadband network.

Five directional boring crews will begin digging to place orange conduit to build a fiber ring. According to Jeremy Pearson, director of Fort Dodge Fiber, this ring will be used to create a redundant fiber connection — beginning and ending at a data center which will be housed inside the Municipal Building. Vaults and hand holes will also be placed in the ground to allow Fort Dodge Fiber the ability to store extra cable slack for future fiber maintenance. Thirty-seven above ground cabinets will also be strategically placed around the city to service homes and businesses.

“Once the conduit, cabinets, vaults, and hand holes are placed, the crews will then pull the actual fiber cable through the conduit and start splicing,” said Pearson.

These directional boring crews will be working in the right of way, where other underground utilities are located. Various utility locators will also be out marking existing underground utilities and marking them to avoid potential damage.

“It is always our goal to minimize disruptions in residents’ normal day-to-day activities, but with construction like this, there may be some temporary disruptions to traffic and sidewalks,” said Pearson. “Everyone involved in the project will do our best to keep those disruptions to a minimum.”

The construction of the fiber ring is anticipated to only take place in the public right of way, and should not involve residential properties at this time. When Fort Dodge Fiber begins bringing fiber drops to homes and businesses later this year, a site visit will be requested with the property owner to understand any obstacles that may be encountered such as irrigation lines, invisible pet fences, old cisterns or septic tanks.

“These site visits should alleviate most issues, but we are installing miles and miles of fiber optic cable, and there will always be something that happens,” said Pearson. “We will do our best to minimize those issues throughout the entire build process.”

According to Pearson, the fiber ring is the first piece of the construction project, and since the data center is located at the Municipal Building, construction will begin there.

“Inside of our City Hall data center, you’ll find all of the equipment needed to make the network function,” said Pearson. “Our main connections to the Internet will be terminated there. Our servers, switches and routers to direct traffic from homes and businesses out to the Internet will be housed in the data center. As the fiber ring slowly gets built out from this location, the cabinets around City Hall will be the first to be installed.”

While directional boring crews will begin construction work this week, actual hookups to homes and businesses are anticipated to still take some time.

“There are still a lot of things that need to happen,” said Pearson. “Our first Internet connection to support our customers is not expected to be installed until sometime in mid-August. We have an aggressive construction timeline, but the goal of Fort Dodge Fiber has been to have between 200 and 300 customers hooked up by the end of 2022.”

Residents interested in Fort Dodge Fiber services are asked to register their interest for a free fiber drop online at FortDodgeFiber.com. Registering does not obligate residents to sign up for services. According to Pearson, during the main construction phase, a fiber drop will not cost the home or business owner, but allows the city to prepare for potential service in the future.

“We can’t wait for this construction to start,” said Pearson. “The fiber ring will be the backbone of this entire network throughout the city of Fort Dodge. Once we start putting the conduit and fiber in the ground, we are just that much closer to delivering an ultrafast fiber optic network to every home and business in the city of Fort Dodge.”

Construction begins on Fort Dodge Fiber | News, Sports, Jobs - Fort Dodge Messenger
Photo Credit: Fort Dodge Messenger

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