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Deal with city of SLO will allow Digital West to expand fiber network

Digital West provides services that include colocation, email and Web hosting, fiber-optic networks, managed networks and cloud computing.
Digital West provides services that include colocation, email and Web hosting, fiber-optic networks, managed networks and cloud computing.

The San Luis Obispo City Council approved an agreement Tuesday with Digital West that will allow the San Luis Obispo tech company to use additional city-owned underground conduits to expand its fiber-optic network offerings — bringing more fiber options to the city’s downtown.

In return, Digital West will provide backup services to five of the city’s public safety facilities to guarantee that they have secured Internet access should the city’s existing connection fail. Digital West also will provide the city with additional services such as storage, system monitoring and server hosting. The city estimates the agreement is valued at $350,000 over the next five years.

“The city gets high-speed, redundant fiber services with no upfront or long-term costs, Digital West gains the right to use the city’s existing air space (available conduit space) to expand its fiber network, and more local businesses get access to fast, reliable broadband service,” said Lee Johnson, the city’s economic development manager.

San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx said the agreement also supports the city’s Economic Strategic Plan by increasing access to broadband services.

The agreement stems from a request for proposals the city distributed in April 2011 designed to generate revenue from communications companies by leasing available underground city conduit space, including the 4” water reuse conduit that runs from Prado Road to the Damon-Garcia Sports Complex on Broad Street.

Digital West will assume about $500,000 in construction and installation expenses, according to the company.

“There have been a handful of cities, such as Seattle, that have had the foresight to add conduit whenever new construction projects are completed,” said Tim Williams, chief executive officer of Digital West. “The city of San Luis Obispo is now among these visionary communities in recognizing the value of building a robust fiber infrastructure for its residents.”

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