The City of Anacortes is improving the reliability and speed of internet services in town by constructing a fiber optic based internet network for commercial and residential use. High quality affordable fiberoptic technology gives consumers access to super fast internet and provides our community with new opportunities. Greater accessibility and faster speeds translates into improved business performance which can lead to the creation of jobs, innovative business solutions, and business expansion as companies grow or relocate in Anacortes.
City Council budgeted funds for 2019 and 2020 to construct network infrastructure in three pilot areas:Commercial Business District (CBD); Old Town; and along & slightly west of M Avenue between 22nd and 32nd Streets. Service will be offered to businesses in the CBD beginning in late September 2019. Service will be offered in some parts of the Old Town area beginning in late 2019 and rolling forward into 2020. Service will begin to be offered along the M Avenue area during the first half of 2020. If our experience with those three pilot areas reasonably demonstrates the project’s financial, technical & logistical feasibility, City Council will likely fund continued expansion of the network into 2021 and beyond.
City Council adopted Resolution 2013 outlining the City Council’s desire to pursue a municipal fiber optic internet system and provides staff with the directive to prepare a business plan. The 2019-2020 biennial budget authorized a two year pilot project.
Business Plan Summary
1. Build an in-house ISP 2. Outsource or partner for work that we can’t do in-house 3. Focus on high-speed Internet service offering; investigate phone and TV partnerships 4. Dark Fiber leases for additional revenue 5. 1-year trial: 1000 buildings in low cost-to-construct neighborhoods 6. If successful, expand throughout the City (aim for 3 year construction schedule) 7. Staffing: 4 employees during trial, possibly expand to 6 or 7 after trial 8. Business Goals: cash flow positive in year 1 or 2, construction ROI in 15 years 9. 35% market share is key
Business Plan Goals
1. Deliver High Speed Residential and Business Internet Service at Competitive Prices Throughout the Community
2. Provide Excellent Customer Service
3. Achieve a Market Share of 35% or More
4. Pay for any Construction Liabilities (loans) with Subscriber Revenue
5. Achieve Payback On Construction Investment in 15-20 years
6. Become Cash Flow Positive in 2-3 years
7. Spur Local Business Development and Economic Growth