The City of Dayton will soon be the second city in the state of Texas to operate its own fiber optics system. At Monday night’s meeting, Council approved a $13.7 million bond at a 2.56 percent interest rate to run the 70 miles of fiber optic lines throughout the city of Dayton. The system will provide faster Internet speeds to residents and businesses.
Once the project is complete, it should provide 98 percent of utility customers with download and upload speeds capable of reaching 1 GB per second.
“Right now, we are very confident that customers will have at least 800 MBs per second of download and upload speeds at any given time,” said City Manager Theo Melancon. “In the midst of all the chaos that is going on in the investment world, we received a very competitive bid. We are at a whole percentage point lower than where we thought we would be.”
Melancon said the lower interest rate for the bond is proof that the investment market believes in Dayton, Texas.
“They believe in our business plan and our financial management. They have said as much in emails to us. S&P told our financial advisers they are so proud of what the city has done over the last 10 years,” he said.
The next step in the project is formally hiring Magellan Advisors to see the project to completion. The company will oversee the design and project-manage the build-out.
The Denver, Colorado-based company recently partnered with the City of Mont Belvieu to implement a city-owned fiber optics system.
Like Mont Belvieu, the City of Dayton will provide the Internet service as another utility, like water and sewer service. Melancon believes the cost of the service will be more affordable for Dayton residents and businesses.
“We are still finishing up our final business plan but I am very confident that we can provide 1 GB of service to customers for $80 a month,” he said.
Melancon said the project in Dayton could see a full deployment within 18 months. He is confident that Magellan will provide a high-quality system for Dayton residents and businesses.
“They are one of the tops in the industry. They have worked all across the country from Florida to Alaska,” he said.
Melancon credits Finance Director and Asst. City Manager Rudy Zepeda with helping the City earn the lower interest rate.
Following Monday night’s city council meeting, Zepeda and Melancon learned that the City of Dayton, for the fourth year in a row, has earned an Excellence in Finance Reporting from the Government Finance Officers Association.
Melancon added that the City of Dayton’s credit rating is projected to move up to a AA from AA- in the next 24 months.