Amid an expansion project that will connect hundreds of homes to its fiber network, the City of Ammon Fiber Optic Utility will host an information meeting in two weeks, meant to dispel misinformation about the utility.
The expansion project, which began in March, will make 500 Ammon homes newly eligible for the fiber network in the coming months. More than 300 homes are expected to connect, according to an Ammon Fiber news release.
Fiber lines are being installed in the Bridgewater neighborhood. Next, the project will move to Centennial Ranch (starting in June) and Jennie Jean (starting early fall).
Ammon’s fiber utility is an open-access, wired internet infrastructure. The city installs and maintains the wires and allows internet service providers to compete to sell their service to a customer through the wire.
The utility is an opt-in service. Ammon residents can connect to the wire in a few different ways.
First, an Ammon resident can choose to connect their single home to the network and pay an installation fee. This is the most expensive installation option.
Another option is through local improvement districts (LIDs), or groups of property owners who voluntarily share costs of the fiber installation. If those neighbors choose to connect, they’ll pay installation fees that are cheaper than installation for a single-home connection. Ammon Fiber selects LIDs based on perceived interest in the network — interest is assessed through public meetings.
Lastly, residential (or commercial) developers can pay for fiber to be connected to newly constructed buildings. One could buy a home with an existing fiber connection, although the connection likely will be reflected in the cost of the home.
Once a fiber connection is established, users pay a monthly maintenance fee and pay the internet service provider based on the bandwidth the user selects.
According to the Ammon Fiber news release, there has been confusion among Ammon residents about connecting to the network and the monthly fees associated with it.
Ammon Fiber will host an informational meeting at 7 p.m. on June 5 at Mountain Valley Elementary School, 2601 S. Princess Drive, Ammon.
“City staff and elected officials continue to deal with a great deal of misinformation related to the fiber utility,” the release said. “Therefore, the purpose of this meeting is to present clear and factual information and answer resident’s questions related to the Ammon fiber utility service.”
The meeting will be geared specifically for residents in the Centennial Ranch and Jennie Jean neighborhoods but is open to the public.