City prepares for fiber service rollout

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

The greater Sandpoint region is inching closer to robust high-speed internet options following a series of actions by the Sandpoint City Council on Wednesday.

Sandpoint council members approved a memorandum of understanding with Bonner County to link their individually-owned networks together. In addition, the city approved fiber optic network fees, as well as lease rates for fiber network conduits, allowing private companies to install their own fiber and accelerate the next phase of the network build-out. Finally, council members approved a lease agreement with Ting Fiber, providing the company with space to house network equipment for its planned fiber optic network.

At the council meeting, Mayor Shelby Rognstad thanked all city and county staff for their work in establishing the fiber network. Identified by local economic development experts as essential for growth, the fiber network has been a high city priority for years.

“I think we’re all excited to see high-speed internet come to Sandpoint like we haven’t had it before,” said Sandpoint Mayor Shelby Rognstad.

Private companies are already preparing to take advantage of the network, gradually rolling out high-speed internet service to businesses and residences throughout the region.

Monica Hubbard of Ting said that planning and design for its planned internet service is under way and likely to be completed within six months. In the meantime, company personnel are working on communication with neighborhoods and individuals affected by the build-out. They’re also preparing new packages and pricing for businesses seeking different service from the standard options. The ultimate goal is to start construction in the summer with a hopeful completion date by November, prioritizing the areas of town with the highest demand.

Likewise, Jim Cost of Intermax said the company is prepared to offer a host of services throughout the surrounding areas. Cost said the company is looking forward to contributing to local economic development through promotions like high-speed data and managed IT, security and digital voice services.

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