Plainville council discusses town’s fiber optics upgrade

TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

Plainville Councilors and town staff held a discussion on the proposed fiber optics network that would connect multiple town-operated buildings, with a projected savings of $42,460 in the first year.

In June 2018, director of information technology, Kevin Ross, explained that Plainville leases fiber on a 20-year contract. The leased fiber connects the municipal building, the board of education, and all of the schools to the fiber, which is housed at the high school.

There is a municipally owned underground fiber housed in Town Hall that is utilized by the police department and library, and the firehouse is on a loaned fiber from the “public safety network” to the police department. Ross said all locations have internet access via the Connecticut Education Network, which is housed at Plainville High School.

Currently, parks and recreations, the senior center, the water pollution control center, roadways, buildings and grounds, and police repeaters are not on a fiber network.

Town Manager Robert Lee reported during the Jan. 23 workshop that the fiber project budget has been “reduced by $50,415 to $711,878.” This is due to the elimination of the pump station on Journey Road because it is a relatively small pump station that doesn’t necessarily require monitoring at this point in time.

To fund the project, Lee’s office recommended that $250,000 goes through the sewer project, and the town is expecting an E-Rate reimbursement of $24,262 for the smaller connections to the schools. Lee also said that the town still hasn’t determined if this will be financed through capital improvement projects or through contingency funds from the water pollution control phosphorus project.

The amount to be financed is $237,616.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@BristolObserver.com.