Lawrence city commissioners Tuesday unanimously agreed to begin advertising for a consultant to explore how the city can best use its miles of fiber optic cable that it currently owns.
The city has significant amounts of buried fiber optic cable that connects traffic signals and other pieces of city infrastructure. The cable has excess capacity, and the city wants a consultant to help it determine whether the cable could be used to help spur more high-speed broadband access in the city.
“There is clearly a need for more capacity and more competition, because with all the research I have done, it appears Lawrence suffers from both a speed standpoint and a cost standpoint,” City Commissioner Mike Dever said.
Commissioners don’t yet have a timeline for hiring a consultant, or a firm estimate of how much the study may cost. The city has seen other similar studies cost anywhere from $30,000 to $75,000. Commissioners expressed an interest in asking Kansas University to partner on the project.