Traverse City commission to vote on $18.2 million plan to improve internet service





Monday night in Traverse City, commissioners will decide whether to accept Traverse City Light and Power’s (TCLP) plan to improve high-speed internet service in the city.

TCLP wants to expand its high-speed network to ensure that all of its customers have fast and reliable Internet service.

“The discussion about providing fiber goes back four or five years now, in terms of upgrading what’s available to us,” says Traverse City manager Martin Colburn.

They are asking the city to authorize up to $18.2 million in USDA loans to expand their network and make fiber system improvements.

“You build a few backbone networks for the access layer, and then you actually build individual homes, so we run cables and that’s the intent, in almost every home in Traverse City, so it costs a lot of amount says Scott Menhart, TCLP’s Chief Information Officer.

Many depend on this reliable service every day just to do their jobs.

“I think it’s more relevant today in relation to COVID, as more and more people move in and work from home, that we need a higher level of service,” says Colburn.

Since the costs will be covered by a loan, taxpayers need not worry about paying more.

Those who use this service pay a fee.

“We name it because it’s your community network, so really, it’s the taxpayers and the community and the citizens of Traverse City who are really going to benefit from both sides of that coin,” Menhart says.

Their hope is to connect the whole city to the network within two years.

The municipal commission meets at 7 p.m. at the Government Center.

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