County Government Asks: Why Rent Fiber When You Can Own?

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When Martin County (FL) was faced with increased telecommunications cost, CIO Kevin Kryzda used the phrase “rubber chicken circuit” to persuade community leaders, business owners and elected officials to build a county-owned fiber network rather than leasing services with an impending cost increase.

Kryzda, anticipating a price jump, began researching how the county could build its own network. Determined to lower the initially estimated cost of $9.8 million, Kryzda began a conversation with the Florida Department of Transportation about merging pieces of their networks to share costs.

According to the Florida Fiber report, a local relationship presented itself with Indiantown Telecommunications Service (ITS), a rural exchange carrier. Between 2006 and 2010, ITS had installed fiber-optic cable in and around the county and offered a 43-mile fiber swap. ITS would use Martin County fiber to expand its service area, and the county would use existing ITS fiber to avoid higher costs.

The savings associated with the agreement brought the expected cost of building the network to $4.14 million. Construction for the project commenced in January 2011, and the county no longer required Comcast’s leased lines after July 31, 2011. Additionally, since the launch, unanticipated uses for the county network appear on a regular basis.

“We now use fiber optics to interconnect 133 buildings throughout the county and elsewhere for the purpose of voice, video and data communications,” Kryzda said.

County Government Asks: Why Rent Fiber When You Can Own?