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City council to discuss expanding fiber program to entire city during public meeting

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IDAHO FALLS — City officials have deemed the Idaho Falls Fiber pilot program a success, and now the city council needs to decide whether or not to expand its fiber network to the rest of the city.

To celebrate the completion of the Idaho Falls Residential Fiber Pilot Project, the mayor and city council will be hosting a meeting at Sunnyside Elementary school Thursday night, starting at 5:30 p.m. Cake and refreshments will be served until the public meeting begins at 6:30 p.m.

During the public meeting, residents who have participated in the pilot program will talk about their experiences with it. Then, the Idaho Falls Power and Idaho Falls Fiber General Manager Bear Prairie will give a presentation.

“(Prairie) is going to present their findings about the project,” Idaho Falls spokesman Bud Cranor told EastIdahoNews.com.

Following the presentations from residents and Prairie, the mayor and city council will discuss expanding the project to the rest of the city and may hold a vote.

“From what I understand, Idaho Falls Power (and) Idaho Falls Fiber is very pleased with the data on the program and is expected to give a favorable recommendation to (the) council to expand residential fiber coverage to the entire city,” Cranor said in an email.

Prairie said the current fiber network passes by 1,250 homes with around 305 homes connected to the network. He said they are doing six installations a day for new customers.

He said one of the biggest aspects of the project is managing new customers and getting them connected to the network as fast as possible.

“As we release these large areas, we want to get people signed up within two to three weeks,” Prairie said. “Overall, the things that I’ve heard back from people … has been all positive.”

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