Hudson -- Council members would like to circle the city with Internet broadband fiber in less than three years instead of five and serve Hudson's business parks/clients sooner, according to suggestions from an April meeting.

Interim City Manager Scott Schroyer June 10 asked for direction for the broadband infrastructure work. The city wants to circle the city with fiber to provide communications for all its city facilities. Council members suggested offering the broadband service to businesses and residents.

Broadband would provide a competitive advantage for economic development for attracting businesses, said Council member Dennis Hanink.

"I'd like to see us try to get to the business parks within a couple years," Hanink said.

Schroyer said the city would like to seek outside assistance from a broadband technology consultant to create a financial and business plan. The consultant would provide a 10-year business/financial analysis that includes estimated costs for initial build out, operational expenses, staff costs, equipment and maintenance cost, pricing, service take rates, revenue, income and cash flow estimates. The analysis would look at two market segments for business and residential and how to split the cost within Hudson Public Power if the city decides to provide broadband beyond city facilities.

"Our goal is to target business parks and look at the [city's] 25 square miles," Schroyer said.

Council President Hal DeSaussure said not to forget the businesses downtown.

"Can we offer to tie in [to Internet] there now?" DeSaussure asked.

In December Schroyer will discuss the analysis of the plan and what areas to develop for broadband.

Schroyer said they could cut the plan in half but would have to look at how to achieve it by examining infrastructure and costs.

Some Council members wanted to have a product that could deliver and send outside the city.

"We need to do a couple of steps before we get there," Schroyer said.

Council member Keith Smith said to consider an outside contractor to accelerate the work.

"We would like to have it done yesterday," DeSaussure said. "Obtain a consultant because we need expertise in this area and bring back a six-month report."

Schroyer said the consultant and city would provide different options in December.

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