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O’Fallon proposes fiber optic line to connect city facilities

Fiber optic cables [Source: Adobe stock]
Fiber optic cables [Source: Adobe stock]

The city of O’Fallon has proposed leasing a 24-strand fiber optic cable from Everstream Solutions, LLC [Everstream] to connect city hall to six locations, including the Justice Center, Renaud Center, Environmental Services building, Dames Park, a small city building/salt dome on Glengate Estates Drive near Feise Road, and Westhoff Park. The 10-year total cost would be $455,000.

In a memo to the council, Information Technology Director Paul Huff noted, “Everstream is a fiber company based in Cleveland, Ohio, offering leased fiber to the internet. It is entering new territories as part of a relationship with a major cellular provider wanting to expand its 5G offering. A [cell] tower located in Westhoff Park is only accessible through an easement the city owns. In exchange for access to the easement, Everstream is offering favorable pricing to expand the city’s fiber optic network.”   

Regarding costs, Huff said, “In comparison, a city-installed fiber project was quoted at $1.4 million. Competitors’ lease quotes ranged from $810,000 to $838,000 for the total 10-year investment. Additionally, the city agrees to produce a feature video on Everstream.”

Huff further clarified, “This new [fiber] cable is critical as an increasing number of business operations are dependent upon network services.  Current network speeds cause unnecessary delays and employee frustration.  It also limits the capabilities that exist in current and future systems offered in the cloud. Additionally, the installation plan will allow for network redundancy for certain key buildings such as the Justice Center and Renaud Center.”

At its May 28 meeting, the City Council conducted a first reading for Bill No. 7194, sponsored by Ward 1 council members Dave Hinman and Deana Smith. The bill proposes giving Everstream a permanent easement to run a 24-strand, buried fiber optic cable through Westhoff Park.

As part of the proposal, the council approved Resolution No. 05-28-2020B by a vote of 10-0, authorizing agreements with Everstream for the leased fiber network, for an amount not to exceed $455,000. The agreements will be executed assuming the second reading and vote for passage on Bill No. 7194 are successful at a future council meeting.

The lease includes these terms:

  • $245,000 one-time installation cost of constructing the fiber network.
  • $1,750 per month for 120 months [10 years] to maintain the network, for a total of $210,000.
  • Options to renew at the same rates for up to four additional 10-year terms.

Huff clarified that the monthly recurring cost of $1,750 ensures Everstream will be responsible for maintaining and repairing the fiber in the event of a break. City staff had noted in their recommendation for approval of the bill and resolution that this would require a mid-year budget adjustment of $245,000 for the capital project.

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