Anacortes Municipal Fiber
Bringing fiber internet access to Anacortes residents and businesses in not only important, it's imperative. Broadband will be a gamechanger for our community. With fiber access, I foresee a community where households can connect all their devices without worry, entrepreneurs have the infrastructure they need to innovate, our education and healthcare providers will have the platform for learning and telemedicine, and the City will have additional capacity to address local problems, from growing traffic congestion to managing large databases. -Mayor Laurie Gere
The City of Anacortes is exploring ways to improve the reliability and speed of internet services in town and seeks to construct a fiber optic based internet network for city and community use. To date the City has constructed a fiber optic backbone that links the Water Treatment Plant, the Wastewater Treatment Plant, sewer pump stations, and other facilities. The City intends to expand the fiber optic network from this backbone infrastructure to all City facilities. The goal is to connect the entire City and provide an option for the community to hook up to this community owned system.
High quality affordable fiberoptic technology gives consumers access to super-fast speeds and provides the entire city with new opportunities to grow economically. Greater accessibility and faster speeds translates into improved economic performance with the creation of more jobs, more innovation, as well as incentive for additional infrastructure investments and companies relocating or expanding into the City of Anacortes.
The City has an aggressive plan of completing fiber to the home throughout all of Anacortes in the next 4 years. Over 1600 community members completed a survey expressing interest in an Anacortes municipal fiber system. The first year we will pass 1000 homes and businesses in our commercial business district, old town, and M Avenue corridor where overhead utility poles are readily available. The second year we will pass another 1000 homes and then will branch out into the homes that require underground connections. Our business plan suggests that a 35% connection or “take rate” will ensure success. Through the budget process City Council allocated funding for the initial startup costs.
Business Plan Goals
1.Deliver High Speed Residential and Business Internet Service at Competitive Prices Throughout the Community
2.Provide Excellent Customer Service
3.Achieve a Market Share of 35% or More
4.Pay for any Construction Liabilities (loans) with Subscriber Revenue
5.Achieve Payback On Construction Investment in 15-20 years
6.Become Cash Flow Positive in 2-3 years
7.Spur Local Business Development and Economic Growth
Help us name the Anacortes Community Fiber Network.
It will belong to all of us- so we want to hear what you think it should be called! Finalists will be featured on the city website and invited to share their idea at a City Council meeting.
The City is leveraging the fiber-optic utility backbone to build out a high-capacity fiber network in Anacortes. This network will bring world-class services to local businesses, schools, healthcare facilities, public safety agencies, government buildings and residences.
Please complete the two question survey below and be sure to hit submit when you are done!
What have we done so far?
City Council adopted Resolution 2013 outlining the City Council’s desire to pursue a municipal fiber optic internet system and provides staff with the directive to prepare a business plan. The 2019-2020 biennial budget authorized a two year pilot project. Recruitment is underway to hire a Municipal Broadband Fiber Manager.
Business Plan Summary
1. Build an in-house ISP
2. Outsource or partner for work that we can’t do in-house
3. Focus on high-speed Internet service offering; investigate phone and TV partnerships
4. Dark Fiber leases for additional revenue
5. 1-year trial: 1000 buildings in low cost-to-construct neighborhoods
6. If successful, expand throughout the City (aim for 3 year construction schedule)
7. Staffing: 4 employees during trial, possibly expand to 6 or 7 after trial
8. Business Goals: cash flow positive in year 1 or 2, construction ROI in 15 years
9. 35% market share is key