A June report released by CTC Technology & Energy recommends that the Town of Holly Springs, North Carolina move ahead with plans to construct fiber optic broadband infrastructure to serve its public institutions. The Business Case for Government Fiber Optics in Holly Springs states that the return on investment of a Town-built fiber network would mitigate the capital costs of the project. “A Town-owned infrastructure,” the report states, “is the most cost effective approach for meeting internal Town networking needs in the long term.” Constructing a Town-owned fiber backbone would cost an estimated $1.3 to $1.5 million.
The Town, like many local governments, currently leases broadband infrastructure to serve its needs. Holly Springs will spend an estimated $159,000 per year for these leased services in the coming years; CTC Technology & Energy expects the Town to need to scale its network capacity to at least 1 Gbps circuits for its schools, libraries, and other facilities to keep pace with bandwidth demands. The cost of leased service will rise further with the planned construction of new police and recreational facilities. According to the report, if the Town invests in its own fiber, in the “worst case” scenario, the cost of financing this infrastructure would be comparable to continuing to pay for leased services. CTC Technology & Energy projects a cost savings between $922,000 and $1.1 million resulting from the Town building 1 Gbps circuits to each of its facilities.
The report goes on to recommend a strategy of building Town fiber toward private sector Internet providers, key businesses, and residential neighborhoods. In this way, the Town can encourage private sector providers to build last-mile networks, leasing fiber backbone from the Town, to directly connect homes and businesses. This strategy helps bring Holly Springs closer to the ultimate goal of encouraging fiber-to-the-premises technology to be built throughout the Town.