Chicago Gains Eight More Miles of Fiber Optic Cables for Broadband

The Windy City is one step closer to becoming “the most connected city in the world.”

A new ordinance will enable the City of Chicago to secure over eight miles of new fiber optic cables, furthering Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s ‘Broadband Challenge’ initiative. Announced in September 2012, the Broadband Challenge seeks to expand access to high speed Internet in commercial and industrial areas, parks and public spaces and underserved neighborhoods citywide.

The law authorizes a transaction between the City and ExteNet Systems, Inc. In exchange for a $1.387 million reduction in right-of-way fees owed to the city over the next 15 years, the City would acquire 42,400 feet of fiber optic cables.

The Mayor stressed that the fiber acquired through this transaction is an important asset for the Broadband Challenge and future growth of Chicago.

“Expanding our fiber optic cable infrastructure is critical to achieving this goal,” says the Mayor.

The $1.387 million figure represents the estimated cost of construction and installation of the fiber optic cables. The fiber acquisition will also be used for the City’s own needs, in some cases saving cost through the cancellation of existing telecommunications services.

The City will also support these efforts by leveraging assets including existing City-owned fiber, coordinating with other planned City construction work, and other forms of investment. ❒

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