Metro Council votes to allow fiber optic internet in Lou.


by Alex Schuman

Posted on July 24, 2014 at 8:57 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 24 at 11:19 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Metro Council members voted on Thursday evening and passed a franchise agreement for High Speed Internet Services.

  “It’s the internet on steroids,” Councilman Kevin Kramer said, R - District 11, describing a new utility he hopes will soon be offered in Louisville.

 BGN Networks, Fiber Technologies, and SciFi Networks wanted permission to use public streets, spaces between the sidewalk and street, or utility poles to deliver their new product.

 “We’re talking about a technology that enables far, far [movement of date] than anyone’s ever had access to unless you’re at a research instition,” Adrian Lauf, Asst. Professor of Computer Engineering and Science at U of L, said.

 Fiber cables, which transmit information using light, promise consumers extremely fast internet that can send massive amounts of information in the moment.  The average nationwide internet speed is 9.8 megabits a second.  Fiber internet claims to offer speeds as high as 1,000 megabits a second.  You do not even need to know what a megabit is to understand there is a huge difference.

 Installation of the fiber cables will not cost tax payers any money.  The city is essentially allowing these companies to take the risk of installing fiber internet, and hope consumers will follow through.

 The first customers are expected to be businesses.

 “When you talk about business locating or relocating or start-up businesses - this is what businesses need to move forward,” said Kramer.

 Chattanooga and Kansas City already have fiber internet services.  In those cities, the cost for high speed internet is 70 dollars a month.

 Councilman Kramer expects the added competition for current internet providers could also lead to lower service prices across the city.

 “Prices for things like even consumer internet have generally been pushed down as a result to access to high speed internet,” Kramer said.