Geographical Information Center Assists City of Redding with Fiber Internet Utility

The City of Redding continues moving forward with the proposal to research, develop, and potentially implement a new fiber Internet utility service. The initial service would be offered in the downtown area of Redding and serve as a pilot phase for both residential and commercial customers. The City is uniquely advantaged to provide this service by owning the existing infrastructure through the city-owned Redding Electric Utility (REU). The goal of the new utility would be to spur economic development, help revitalize the downtown area, and make the City more competitive and marketable by deploying a fiber-optic network to provide gigabit services for residential and business customers, and community anchor institutions.

In May 2017, Adam McElvain, Redding Vice Mayor and lead of this initiative, proposed the initial concept for the Fiber Internet Utility Project, and in December established partnerships with the CSU, Chico GIC and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). In early 2018, partners carried out the network design and engineering cost analysis, and in April, Vice Mayor McElvain presented to the City Council progress on the project and received approval to continue moving forward with the marketing assessment and stakeholders engagement. Next steps include assessing stakeholder engagement, funding options, and risk analysis. The final proposal will be presented to the City Council later this year.

The CSU Chico, Geographical Information Center (GIC) assisted this initiative by carrying out a high-level technical network design and engineering cost analysis for the proposed fiber service in the Downtown Redding pilot area. This analysis required a collaborative work between the CSU Chico GIC, City of Redding, Redding Electric Utility, and National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). The analysis followed standard telecom industry technical guidelines and recommendations and deployment methods, and manufacturer equipment features and configurations.