City Council to work with Sandy administration on steps toward starting the Fiber to the Home enterprise

As part of the ongoing preparation for beginning construction for the city’s Fiber to the Home project, Sandy City Council members have decided on the project’s next steps.

At their meeting Monday, March 3, councilors decided to close a portion of Champion Way, just past the Sandy Operations Center. The section of the street is needed for storage and staging for construction crews.

The portion of Champion Way will be closed until construction is completed, likely in March or April of 2015, said IT Director Joe Knapp. As of now, that section of the road is not being used.

There is a driveway on the southern edge of the area, but the closure won’t restrict access to it.

At the March 6 meeting, City Council members expressed concerns for the security of materials that would be kept there.

“The area would be fenced in and locked during off hours and be covered by video surveillance to ensure the safety of our materials,” Knapp said.

Construction for the project is meant to start at the end of April or beginning of May.

And it is well on its way to beginning. After the councilors’ decision to close the road, they moved on to completing one more step toward construction.

The city currently has a contract with OFS to outfit homes with the fiber optic Internet connections for the future Fiber to the Home Network, but earlier in the process Sandy administration decided to purchase materials for the project separately.

IT staff looked at four different vendors that supply the necessary optical equipment. They were Adtran, Alcatel-Lucent, Calix and Fujitsu/Zhone.

The four suppliers were scored on requirements necessary for the planned project: data capabilities, voice capabilities, residential ONT features and commercial ONT features. An ONT, or optical network terminal, refers to the point between the carrier’s circuit and the wiring at the customer’s premises.

Of the four vendors, Calix scored the highest.

“The Calix solution appears to be more robust,” Knapp said, “and provides options ... that will streamline our day-to-day operation of the network.”

After comparing prices, Calix appeared to be the second most expensive, “but this decision is too critical for price to be the only factor,” Knapp said.

The price for the Calix equipment was estimated at $399,773. All four of the prices compared came in under the city’s budget estimates.

The council agreed to allow IT staff to negotiate a final purchase with Calix for the network equipment needed.

Once purchased, the equipment will be stored on the new closed off area of Champion Way.

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