Posted By: Rachael Witter
Downtown Lincoln businesses will see a new internet provider in the near future.
It's all part of a project that started last summer. A network of fiber conduits was installed downtown, and now the city is signing a lease with new internet provider NebraskaLink. They provide services to most of rural Nebraska.
It will occupy the recently installed fiber conduit grid that was put in downtown Lincoln this summer.
"Over the past several months, city staff has been developing and implementing plans to attract a variety of telecommunications providers to the Lincoln market. I think we all recognize that fiber optics is now a critical infrastructure component," Mayor Chris Beutler said.
NebraskaLink will extend their service from Aurora to Lincoln. Fiber optic cables will run from the west side of town, through Innovation campus and south to Nebraska Hall. The company will provide internet services to UNL starting July 1st.
"From that point, we'll determine through our company efforts which areas of the downtown area we serve first but we expect to take four years or so to build out through the city to provide service to all the members of the community in our customer segment," NebraskaLink CEO Paul Ludwick said.
The city currently uses the conduit system for traffic signals.
"This is an opportunity to work collaboratively with the private sector to both expand our traffic network as well as expand access to all the citizens and businesses in the city to better serve it," Assistant City Engineer Randy Hoskins said.
NebraskaLink will take about 4 years to complete the installation downtown. They also say for now, their main target will be internet for businesses, not residental customers.