Economic network

Dutch voters approve $30m public fiber broadband network

HOLLAND — Voters in the city of Holland have narrowly approved a $30 million proposal to build a state-owned fiber broadband internet network.

The 25-year mileage that allows the city to bond up to $30 million to build high-speed internet infrastructure passed by 213 votes, just over 51% of the total vote, according to unofficial results. of the Ottawa County Clerk. Desk.

“Yesterday the voters of Holland decided they shared the city council’s vision of a community-owned fibre-optic broadband network that would ensure everyone in the city of Holland has access to affordable, high-speed and reliable telecommunications”. Dutch Board of Public Works (BPW) Chief Executive Dave Koster today said in a statement to MiBiz.

Holland BPW staff in the coming months will secure engineering services to complete the final design of the network, while construction could begin in mid-2023, Koster said. Officials plan to complete construction in 2025, enabling 1 gigabit service and the ability for private internet service providers to join the open network.

City officials expect the service to cost around $45 per month with a 51% take-up rate. Homeowners will be assessed at $1.50 for every $1,000 of their property assessment.

The open network could potentially support internet speeds of up to 10 gigabits. City officials – with Economic Development Organization Lakeshore Advantage Corp. and several business owners – have expressed the need for faster Internet options in an effort to reduce costs for customers and advance economic development.

“Our team truly views broadband and broadband investments as an investment in the third utility necessary to keep businesses and talent running,” Lakeshore Advantage President Jennifer Owens previously told MiBiz. “Broadband ROI has a huge impact on the future of the community’s economy. A lot of that is driven by manufacturing here, and it’s changing with smart manufacturing, robotics, big data, and all the internet-connected gear – it requires super-fast connection and speed. The more connections we have with businesses and residents, the more competitive and successful we need to be. »

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