City Utilities of Springfield is looking to assist local cities and counties with a regional broadband initiative.
Utility project managers at CU's SpringNet division are set to help the cities of Nixa, Ozark, Republic, Strafford and Willard, as well as Christian and Greene counties, hire a consultant to conduct a broadband feasibility study, according to a news release. The study would determine how best to extend broadband services to residents and businesses in the region.
“After beginning City Utilities’ fiber project in 2019, the creation of the (regional broadband initiative) grew from the surrounding community’s discussions on how they could provide fiber to residents and businesses," said Dean Thompson, CU vice president and chief economic development officer, in the release.
SpringNet's broadband project is on track to provide fiber internet citywide by 2023. CU is handling installation of new lines, and Lumen, an internet provider and parent company of CenturyLink, will lease the lines and provide internet services via Quantum Fiber, its platform for fiber-based connectivity, according to past reporting. The $120 million project was announced in 2019.
Quantum Fiber's website shows coverage has been provided to much of north Springfield, as well as the west and southwest parts of the city.
Local cities and counties are seeing the need, as well.
“The demand for reliable, fast, affordable internet has never been higher," Greene County Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon said in the release. "Schools, families and businesses alike need it now.”
Separately, Mediacom Communications Corp. last week announced internet speed boosts for some Springfield customers at no cost to them. The company also offers gigabit speeds in the city.
Springfield-based Ozarks Elder Law expanded its footprint in Nixa; Skin Wax Ink changed its location and name; and food truck The Deck Pizza Co. opened.