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Utility company launches fibre-to-the premise in Traverse City

Traverse City Light & Power’s new fibre infrastructure will also provide the Michigan city with the critical platform to innovate and deliver smart city services.

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The fibre will serve as an infrastructure for smart city services
The fibre will serve as an infrastructure for smart city services

Traverse City Light & Power (TCL&P) has launched an ultra-fast broadband internet service for its residential and commercial customers in Traverse City.

 

The new fibre infrastructure will also provide the Michigan city with the critical platform to deliver enhanced services, innovate and enable a smart city.

 

All-fibre network

 

Initially some 1,900 of the utility’s 12,700 customers, located in the downtown area of the city, will benefit from the TCLPfibre all-fibre network and digital voice services.

 

The idea for the utility to build its own network was hatched several years ago, growing out of a $1.8m partnership that TCL&P entered with the Traverse City Area Public Schools in 2008 to construct a “dark fibre” network (unused optical fibre that has been laid) in the city.

 

In June 2019, TCL&P.s board agreed to execute a construction and operation agreement with Fujitsu for phase one of the fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) project. The intention was to attract industry and entrepreneurs to the area with the aim of putting the city at the forefront of becoming a tech hub in Northern Michigan.

 

“It was a logical next step,” said Martin Colburn, city manager of Traverse City. “Our view is that it is the obligation of city government to provide the infrastructure for the betterment of all our residents. The residents also benefit from raising the bar on technological improvements to serve their homes and the business community.”

 

Besides being an economic driver for the community, the new network will modernise the electrical grid with added resiliency.

“Our view is that it is the obligation of city government to provide the infrastructure for the betterment of all our residents”

According to TCL&P, TCLPfibre is a publicly-owned and operated fibre internet network, created to benefit the residents of Traverse City and surrounding communities. It is a public service and not a private entity.

 

In recent years, the city’s leadership, along with members of the residential and business communities, realised that access to affordable, high-speed broadband is an essential service, enabling telehealth, job training, economic development, education, and municipal efficiencies; attracting innovation and talent; and providing greater and faster connectivity.

 

“TCL&P has been building the TCLPfiber network incrementally, methodically, and carefully because quality is extremely important,” added Tim Arends, executive director, TCL&P. “We view broadband as an essential utility – owned by the people of Traverse City and managed by TCL&P. Now we’re also in the forefront of becoming a tech hub in Northern Michigan.”

 

The TCLPfibre network was designed, engineered, and built, by Fujitsu Network Communications including ongoing operations and maintenance.

 

Traverse City Light & Power is a community-owned, community-focused municipal utility that offers energy in the region to more than 12,700 customers in Traverse City and parts of East Bay, Elmwood, Garfield, and Peninsula townships.

 

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