Fiber installation for Loveland municipal internet begins this week

LOVELAND — Construction of fiber-optic lines to facilitate high-speed internet services to customers throughout Loveland is expected to begin this week.

Brieana Reed-Harmel, municipal fiber manager for the city of Loveland’s new utility, called Pulse, told BizWest Monday that contractors engaged by the city will begin to bore underground in order to lay fiber-optic lines as installation of four additional service huts continues in strategic places around the city. The first of those huts, or substations, was installed at the city service center, 200 N. Wilson Ave., in the past couple of weeks. A total of five huts will be installed by the end of the year.

The huts will help to establish the fiber ring, from which additional fiber will be extended down every street in the city.

Reed-Harmel said it has not been established when the first customer will be “lit up” by the fiber, but that is expected in the first half of 2020. Whether that will be a business or residential customer has not been determined, she said.

“We want to take it slow at first to make sure things are working as expected, that customer experiences are good and reliability is there,” she said. The business plan for the installation predicted that 2,000 customers would be on the system by the end of 2020, she said.

She said many city buildings, which otherwise could be used to test the network, are already on fiber-optic internet lines because Platte River Power Authority installed a network years ago. Those buildings will be added to the new Pulse network during the buildout of the system.

Reed-Harmel said Pulse will not release a map showing how construction will proceed through town, unlike what occurred in Longmont when the NextLight internet utility began work.

“Competitors used that [the installation pattern] to sign up customers to long-term contracts. That can be detrimental,” she said. Instead, potential customers will be notified as services arrive in their neighborhoods. Pulse projects a 42 percent residential and a 27 percent commercial “take rate.” It needs a 32 percent take rate to break even.

Rates have yet to be established and are under review. “We want to stay competitive, so we’re doing a market study,” she said. Rates will be announced next year.

Pulse will, at least initially, offer internet and telephone services. “We’re looking at video services but haven’t decided yet,” she said.

Longmont offers internet and telephone; Fort Collins plans to offer those services, plus television.

The system will provide both upload and download speeds of 1 gigabit per second, with 10 gbps available for customers with special needs. Phone services will be complete for large and small businesses.

People interested in Pulse developments can visit www.lovelandpulse.com for information. An early interest form is there for people who want to be on the utility’s radar for installation.

Editor’s note: This story was updated to add the projected take rates and to correct the speed available.

 

LOVELAND — Construction of fiber-optic lines to facilitate high-speed internet services to customers throughout Loveland is expected to begin this week.

Brieana Reed-Harmel, municipal fiber manager for the city of Loveland’s new utility, called Pulse, told BizWest Monday that contractors engaged by the city will begin to bore underground in order to lay fiber-optic lines as installation of four additional service huts continues in strategic places around the city. The first of those huts, or substations, was installed at the city service center, 200 N. Wilson Ave., in the past couple of weeks. A total of five huts will be installed by the end of the year.

The huts will help to establish the fiber ring, from which additional fiber will be extended down every street in the city.

Reed-Harmel said it has not been established when the first customer will be “lit up” by the fiber, but that is expected in the first half of 2020. Whether that will be a business or residential customer has not been determined, she said.

“We want to take it slow at first to make sure things are working as expected, that customer experiences are good and reliability is there,” she said. The business plan for the installation predicted that 2,000 customers would be on the system by the end of 2020, she said.

She said many city buildings, which otherwise could be used to test the network, are already on fiber-optic internet lines because Platte River Power Authority installed a network years ago. Those buildings will be…