LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 6, 2015) — Mayor Jim Gray’s plan to make Lexington a “gigabit city” took another step forward today, as the ity issued a Request for Information to gather interest in constructing, operating and maintaining a fiber-optic network across Lexington. A fiber-optic network that connects to homes and businesses would dramatically increase Internet speeds.
“Lexington must be connected to the rest of the world with Internet speeds that drive more business activity and economic development,” Gray said. “Becoming a gigabit city will keep our health, education, manufacturing, technology and research sectors at the forefront.”
The RFI seeks responses from private entities interested in a public-private partnership with the City or a commercial-only solution. Objectives that must be met include:
• High-speed connectivity to business and residential customers on a highly reliable and available network
• Services and network performance that are a significant improvement over what is currently provided by existing networks
• Excellent customer service
• Competitive cost for customer services and flexible plans for price-sensitive customers
• Capability to extend the network as Lexington grows
Kentucky’s average Internet speeds rank among the slowest in the country. And according to the Internet metrics company Ookla, Lexington’s average speed of 16.2 megabits per second puts it 38th among towns and cities in the state.
“We already know that Lexington is an attractive city in which to build a fiber-optic network,” Gray said. “Our population is relatively dense and geographically contained. But more than that, Lexington is a University City, with a highly educated workforce that can leverage greater bandwidth speeds to create new technologies, new ideas and new markets.”
Over the past six months, the Mayor’s Fiber Team has hired a project manager as well as a national consultant to help the City with its plan. As part of that effort, Lexington is working to complete the Google Fiber City Checklist, a list of information and data cities can collect about themselves to assess capabilities and infrastructure. The checklist, originally created by Google Fiber, has now become a national standard for cities to follow as they prepare for a fiber-optic build-out, regardless of provider.
Interested entities can view the fiber-optic RFI online at: https://lfucg.economicengine.com. It will remain open for one month.