Frisco wants a better Internet for the good of students, workers and visitors

The City of Frisco hopes to improve its Internet access for the benefit of its residents, businesses and emergency services. The city sent out a Request for Proposals for Broadband Strategic Plans on Friday, September 2.
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The City of Frisco wants to improve its Internet access and is looking for suggestions on how best to accomplish this.

The municipality hopes to improve its internet access for the benefit of its inhabitants, businesses and emergency services. The city sent out a request for proposals for broadband strategic plans on Friday, September 2, with an October 14 submission deadline. City Council can award a bid on Tuesday, November 8.

Frisco currently relies on DSL and cable connections for its Internet access, said city communications director and project manager Vanessa Agee. As a result, upload and download speeds are “not so good”. The proposal outlines the goals of increasing speeds and adding redundancy to Frisco’s Internet service.



“Internet access is fundamental to quality of life,” Agee said. Kids need it to complete school homework, parents need it for work, and many just need it to stream their favorite TV show. Agee identified three reasons to improve Frisco’s Internet access: personal, emergency and business.

When the Internet goes down in Frisco — as has happened several times over the past few months — businesses lose the ability to get work done and some even lose the ability to handle credit cards.



“It can be infuriating,” said Elizabeth Skrzypczak-Adrian, city council member and owner of Rocky Mountain Coffee Roasters. Internet access is integral when so many shoppers rely on credit cards or Apple Pay, two services that are lost when the Internet goes down. With so many travelers passing through the area relying on Google Maps or online searches to navigate Frisco, internet access is also important for travelers, she said.

“It just slows everything down,” Skrzypczak-Adrian said of the internet outages in Frisco.

The plan would also consider impacts on emergency services, which need reliable broadband and cellular service to send important and urgent messages, Agee said.

In February 2020, the Frisco City Council passed a “dig once” ordinance, allowing the city to install fiber infrastructure whenever excavation work is done for local, state, or private projects such as roadwork along Colorado Highway 9. place underground conduits in which fiber optic cables can be installed. With that groundwork laid, Agee said it was time for the city to take the next step.

Frisco announced its RFP on Sept. 2, and proposals are due Oct. 14 at 4 p.m. The broadband plan is expected to take four to six months, according to the city’s press release.

Questions regarding the RFP are due by 4:00 p.m. Friday, September 16 and answers to questions will be provided by 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 21 at FriscoRFP.com.

A virtual meeting for interested parties will take place at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13. Attendance is not required to submit a proposal. A link to the meeting is contained in the proposal description at FriscoGov.com.

The Broadband Strategic Plan will help the city chart its course. Agee said the plan will determine what foundations the city already has in place, what other needs need to be built, and how Frisco achieves robust fiber connections in an affordable way. The plan will seek to determine whether a public, public-private, or exclusively private model is best for the city.

In addition to a public process with stakeholder interviews and a public meeting or survey to assess broadband needs and cost sensitivity, the plan would inventory and map Frisco’s current broadband infrastructure, describe the impact of broadband availability on the community and propose budget allocations. Additionally, it will analyze various scenarios with associated costs, such as whether to go in a private or public direction, and examine the costs of providing free and more widely available public Wi-Fi.

The project plan will also look at ways Frisco can wrap up its work in northwest Colorado. THOR projecta large-scale effort to improve Internet access in rural communities.

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