City of Loganville looks at offering limited fiber Internet service to downtown businesses

Fiber Image by Chaitawat Pawapoowadon from Pixabay

The City of Loganville is considering offering limited Internet service to its core downtown businesses off the fiber system supplied to it through the City of Monroe.

City Councilwoman Ann Huntsinger, who heads up the Council’s Finance Committee, introduced the idea at Monday’s work session, explaining that it could give the city another enterprise fund that could help offset the tax burden on the city’s taxpayers.

“I understand we could tap into the fiber that we run for the city and that could give business along the core downtown corridor the opportunity to have high-speed fiber through the city instead of Comcast,” Huntsinger said, going on to explain a process that would set up five “guinea pigs” to try out the system initially for a 3 – 6-month trial. The cost involved would not exceed $14,000 and Huntsinger said she expected that at that cost there would likely be an 18 to 24 months return on investment.

“That’s a reasonable ROI for new enterprise fund,” she said, going on to explain that an enterprise fund is from a service provided to residents that brings in another stream of revenue to a municipality outside of taxes.

The City of Monroe has several services that it provides including telephone and Internet service, cable television, water, gas, electricity and garbage pickup.

Kyle MacKenzie, director of Information Technology for the City of Loganville, explained that since the current city hall was previously a school, and schools are required to be on fiber, when city employees moved into it in July 2017 they were able to obtain Internet services from the City of Monroe’s fiber system instead of the old system from Comcast. Fiber optic Internet sends data faster than basic cable due to it being on a dedicated line, which provides more consistent speed than cable. It also is considered more reliable.
“When we had Comcast we had a lot of problems and a lot of downtimes as a result,” MacKenzie said. “Since moving into this building, I don’t believe we’ve been down at all.”
The city would put the trial customers on the fiber system, totally separate from the city, but keep them on their current system until such time as it was decided whether or not providing this service to some downtown businesses would be viable.
But some residents in attendance were not happy about the proposal and questioned whether the city had the expertise to be in the Internet service business and just how much money was going to be spent on finding out whether or not it was equipped to deal with any problems that may arise. Bob Post, who was a Comcast technician himself, also question whether or not it was right for the city to go into a business in opposition to its own local businesses.
“So eventually the City of Loganville could become the exclusive provider and we’d all have to get our service from the city?” he asked.
Huntsinger said the cost would be no more than $14,000 and it would be for a period of 3 – 6 months. If it didn’t prove beneficial, at that time it would go no further.
“But what if we could provide a better service, that was less expensive, and provides another revenue stream that helps our taxpayers?” she asked.
It was decided that the city would go ahead with the trial at a cost not to exceed the $14,000 and the item was put on the consent agenda to be voted on at Thursday’s City Council meeting. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 4303 Lawrenceville Road. The public is invited to attended and there is an open public comment section at the end of the meeting. The full agenda follows.

OLD BUSINESS

II. MAYOR AND COUNCIL ITEMS 

  1. Consent Agenda
    1. Last Month’s Minutes
    2. Last Month’s Financial Report
    3. High-Speed Fiber Utility Beta Testing Implementation – NTE $14,000.00
    4. Fire Truck MDT (Mobile Data Terminal) Upgrade – NTE $15,500.00
    5. Update EM  A contract with Walton County
    6. 2020 Pecan Street CDBG Project Engineering – $46,790.00
    7. Concert and Fireworks Contracts for 2020
    8. Gwinnett SDS
    9. Walton County SDS Resolution 
  2. Gwinnett Census Proclamation 
  3. Police Department Presentation
  4. LDA Appointment  

III. COMMITTEE / DEPARTMENT REPORTS

  1. Planning & Development – Chairwoman Lisa Newberry
  • Case #A19-016 – Marson Holdings, LLC 4.202 acres – Tuck Road 
  • Case #R19-017 – Marson Holdings, LLC 4.202 acres – B-3 to CH 
  • Case #A19-018 – Uprise Development, LLC 5.263 acres – Tuck Road
  • Case #R19-019 – Uprise Development, LLC 5.263 acres – B-3 to CH
  • Case #A19-014 – Uprise Development, LLC 2.174 acres – Tuck Road
  • Case #R19-015 – Uprise Development, LLC 2.174 acres – B-3 to CH 
  1. Finance / Human Resources– Chairwoman Anne Huntsinger 
  • Updates / Reports
  1. Public Safety Committee – Chairman Jay Boland
  • Updates / Reports
  1. Public Utilities / Transportation – Chairman Bill DuVall
  • Rovver X (RCX90 Camera Head) – $22,200.00
  • Vehicle Purchase – 2020 Ford Explorer – $30,331.00
  1. Public Works / Facilities– Chairwoman Linda Dodd
  • Updates / Reports
  1. Economic Development – Chairman Danny Ford
  • Updates / Reports

IV. CITY MANAGER’S REPORT

  • Loomis – Armored Service Proposal 

V. CITY ATTORNEY’S UPDATES / REPORTS

  • Updates / Reports 

VI. ADJOURNMENT 

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