Fiber in our economic diet: after two years, it’s getting closer

fiber_tn We started yammering about the need for Northfield to belly up to the fiber optic bar back in April of 2006 on podcast #15. Since then, we’ve blogged it many times (do a LoGroNo fiber search), often in frustration.

But now, the City of Northfield has issued an Request for Proposal (RFP) for a Fiber to the Premise Feasibility Study (PDF). City IT Director Melissa Reeder is leading the charge. Background info in the April Nfld News: Study evaluates expanding city’s fiber optic network.

Big questions: who should build it, who should own it, and how will it be paid for.

I know the answers but I’m not telling.


  1. Jerry Bilek said:

    I get my fiber from St. Olaf telephone,, service is top notch and the rates are better than qwest. Currently it is only available for businesses. I’m not sure about the availability area.

    June 24, 2008
  2. David Koenig said:

    I also use St. Olaf’s system for Internet access, being fortunate enough to have my office on one of the streets that can access it. The speed and quality are far better than Qwest or Charter, the customer service is fantastic and the price is far less than from Qwest or Charter.

    They have a map available that shows the route of the fiber, but I don’t know if it is online anywhere. Check with Craig Dunton.

    Will St. Olaf be eligible or interested to bid on this RFP?

    June 24, 2008
  3. Jon Denison said:

    St. Olaf Telecom has already been contacted during the initial feasibility study. So has Jaguar Com.

    I was present during the meeting of the fiber task force where both of those companies and also Qwest and Charter made presentations about what they could offer if the city chose to do a complete fiber-to-the-home project.

    If I could make a personal observation both the Charter and Qwest reps couldn’t have looked any more nervous.

    June 24, 2008
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    Jon (Councilor Denison!), thanks for that. Is there a place on the City’s web site where a citizen could find out who’s on the fiber task force, when they meet, minutes, documents, etc? If not, could you ask Melissa Reeder to create one?

    June 25, 2008
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    In the Nfld News, Nfld IT Director Melissa Reader has this column: What are fiber’s benefits?

    The City of Northfield, along with a grant from the Blandin Foundation, is funding a fiber optic feasibility study. The purpose of the study is to provide insight on the feasibility of installing fiber to every home or business in Northfield. The study, beginning this fall, will include a survey where the citizens and businesses of Northfield can weigh in. An open house will be scheduled to allow an opportunity for the public to meet the consultants and truly understand what this technology can do and how it can be financed.

    September 21, 2008
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    In last week’s Friday Memo, Melissa Reeder announced that a “public open house has been scheduled for the Fiber Optic Feasibility Study for Thursday evening, November 6th.”

    September 29, 2008

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