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Businesses, residents signing up for downtown Holland fiber

By Sydney Smith / The Holland Sentinel • Sep 4, 2017 at 11:00 AM

HOLLAND — The Holland Board of Public Works has reached almost 30 percent of its goal for downtown businesses and residents signing up for fiber optic internet.

Thirty-four have signed up for services, said Becky Lehman, technology director for BPW. This comprises 27 percent of the target goal of 125.

“We’ve had a really good response,” she said. “We continue to get out and talk to people so we’re expecting several more over the next few weeks here.”

Earlier this month BPW launched fiber.hollandbpw.com that allows those in the expanded downtown fiber pilot area to sign up for services, which are planned to begin in November.

Lehman said there’s not yet a concrete date for beginning construction but it will take place in September.

The 34 which have signed up make up individual residents and businesses, as services are available for both commercial and residential customers.

If a business or resident has interest in signing up for fiber, Lehman has a suggestion: don’t wait.

“It’s not that we won’t continue to build out, we just want to have the construction be as efficient as possible to build out as many as we can initially,” she said.

Main lines will be installed mostly down Seventh and Ninth streets, then BPW will build to specific buildings. BPW won’t build to 100 percent of the buildings downtown initially, but those who do not sign up now can later.

Lehman says there will be a big push the next two weeks to get people signed up.

The expanded pilot extends from Seventh to Ninth Street and Pine Avenue to Garretson Road. Data will be collected on the take rate of the service by BPW for a possible residential expansion several years in the future.

Pricing for fiber ranges from $85 to $220, depending on the chosen service.

BPW is also looking to hire an outside plant engineer for fiber projects, including building and maintaining its regional fiber optic plant.

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