*Update as of 12/18/2020:
Construction of conduit pathways is almost complete for the Finney County Fiber Optic project.
This week, the project entered Phase Two - pulling cable through the conduit. Over the weekend of Friday Dec. 18, the team will start connecting buildings, and everything North of the railroad tracks should be ready to go live in just a few short days.
Conduit installation is approximately 95% complete. Both the North and South areas of the route have conduit laid in the ground. The team will bore conduit under the railroad tracks on Monday, Dec. 21, to connect the two sides, and all cable will be run through the conduit by then; completing the outer loop.
We added an extension on the route inward to connect the Finney County Public Library. The construction crew is currently installing conduit for this addition; they are about 30% complete.
The project is on track to connect all planned buildings with fiber optic cable before the end of the year.
*Original News Flash as of 10/27/2020:
Finney County received a $1.8 million dollar grant award through the State of Kansas for fiber optic connectivity improvement.
The project, an approximate 5.5 mile fiber optic run originating in the Southwest part of Garden City and terminating in the Northeast part of the City, is designed to provide connectivity reliability for critical County and public operations.
The need for online communication, virtual meetings, video conferencing, and online processing is increasing daily in order to increase access to these vital services while maintaining efficiency and speed. With a fiber optic network, access to services will increase, wait times for services in offices will decrease, and we, along with our non-profit community partners, will increase the ability to provide reliable service to those we serve. The Finney County IT Department worked with other community partners and colleagues to conceptualize this community-wide network. Total cost of the project is approximately 2.7 million dollars with the balance of the cost being paid from the State-provided SPARK Grant program. Following a competitive bid process, the Board of County Commissioners awarded the contract to IdeaTek Telcom, LLC, out of Buhler, Kansas. Local contractor Speer Construction, in association with IdeaTek, began Phase One of this project in Mid-October, drilling the pathway for the fiber optic cables.
Because of the carefully engineered pathway, the contractor anticipates minimal road closures or delays during the construction process.
Phase Two will see the running of fiber optic cable and connection at the building entry points.
The entire project will be completed by December 30, 2020, per the SPARK Grant requirements, and the following buildings will see immediate fiber connectivity:
Interested in following the progress of this project? The public can stay up-to-date on this project by following Finney County on Facebook and Twitter, and see flyover progress from GIS videos at regular County Commission meetings.