The city of East Chicago is moving forward with a plan to expand a high-speed fiber optic network. The more than $300,000 first phase, which was recently approved by the city's board of public works, would connect major municipal offices and could potentially grow into a source of wireless access for businesses. September 17, 2013

News Release

EAST CENTRAL, Ind. – The City of East Chicago and Mayor Anthony Copeland are proud to announce that The City of East Chicago Board of Works recently approved a project which is designed to further enhance the limited fiber optic network which is currently owned and maintained by the City. At the Board of Works meeting which was held Wednesday, September 11th, a recommendation was made by Kevin Klocek, the City's I.T. System Administrator, to award the Phase 1 project of the installation and termination of 72 strand Single Mode Fiber to Kompsys, Inc., which was one of 5 companies to bid the project. The Board then unanimously approved to award the project to Kompsys, Inc.

I.T. Systems Administrator Kevin Klocek stated “ever since Mayor Copeland took office in the City, he has been in full support of this project. We are looking forward to the opportunities of furthering our bandwidth capabilities for the City which will allow for numerous enhancements, Economic Development growth, as well as cost savings measures for various communications expenses throughout the City.”

This phase of the project will allow for fiber to be installed North on Indianapolis Blvd from the intersection of Roxana Drive to Columbus Drive, then East to the Public Safety Facility. It will also be installed down Chicago Avenue from Indianapolis Blvd to Railroad Avenue, crossing the overpass to the Annex Building, and back down 145th returning to City Hall. There is also an allowance to pull fiber down Chicago Avenue from Railroad Avenue to the Health Department, and to the Redevelopment Office which is located in the Water Department Building.

In the future, Phase 2 will continue from the Water Department Building and eventually closing off the fiber loop back at the Public Safety Facility. There is also current construction designed to expand the network into various neighborhoods by having the various road construction projects in the City allow for installation of conduit which ties back into our existing fiber network. This conduit expansion will give us the opportunity in the future to pull additional fiber in these areas and splice into the network to allow for whatever type of communications are needed.

The City intends to add to its next generation fiber optic network infrastructure which will provide access to advanced communications services. This network will be designed with additional 72 strand single mode fiber, capable of communicating from 1 Gb to 10 Gb of data per strand. Upon completion of Phase 2, this network will also convert its architecture from a star topology to a looped network, providing failover redundancy throughout as well as a redundant source of internet services to the World Wide Web, providing internet service throughout the backbone of the network. This internet bandwidth will potentially serve as a backbone to broadcast Wi-Fi hotspots throughout the Business Districts, and potentially service various neighborhoods with Wi-Fi in the future as well.

Once installed, the City is focused on providing a complete, long-lived solution that enhances economic development opportunities for the region and improves quality of life for residents.

An enhanced network for communications of data, public safety / security (neighborhood cop-in-the-box surveillance), phone (convert city service Centrex lines which are approximately $18.00 per line to a Trunked DID line for .10 per DID), and high speed internet are only a few of the benefits that will develop from the network. The network will be designed and constructed to provide high-speed optical fiber telecommunications between many City-owned facilities and serve as the community's backbone to the next generation. The total fiber network loop will consist of an addition of approximately 18 miles of single mode optical fiber connecting numerous City Offices to the City network, and will travel through the heart of the business districts, allowing for increased economic development opportunities for potential and existing local businesses throughout the districts.

The fiber installation for the current Phase 1 will consist of approximately 5.5 miles of optical fiber construction.

Construction costs for Phase 1 will total $180,900. Upon completion of construction, the networking hardware install and programming will be bid to patch in and program the network itself. The anticipated cost for this will be roughly $140,000. The City is pursuing various outside funding opportunities to share the cost in completing the hardware and programming expense. This investment will help reduce current costs that the City is currently paying for communications, but it will also help by providing economic development opportunities to various businesses who have inquired about the availability of fiber throughout the City. These potential businesses will help by contributing to the tax base of the City, as well as increase employment opportunities within the City.

Source: The City of East Chicago

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