Connexion, the Fort Collins urban broadband service, released a construction and service availability map and find your address this week that checked the boxes for two high-demand transparency measures.
Both functions are now available on the Connexion website fcconnexion.com. The map is continuously updated and shows the city’s 357 fiber distribution nodes with three color codes: green when the service is available, orange when construction is ongoing, and yellow when the area is still in the planning phase. White areas indicate parts of the city’s growth management area that have not yet been annexed and therefore do not have a Connexion service.
The map is non-interactive and does not include street names, but it shows that almost half of the city’s footprint is split between under construction and service areas, with a smaller portion of the city under design. The service is mainly available in the northeast, southeast, and west of the city.
The Find Your Address feature lets you enter an address and see if that area is in planning, under construction, or available. It contains a disclaimer that the service may not be immediately available to residents of townhouses, apartments, and condominiums. Connexion enables individual agreements with property managers and apartment owners’ associations for access to apartment buildings. The disclaimer states that individuals should contact their property owner or homeowner association to inquire about future availability of the services.
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If the service is available at a specific address, the website will take you to a page with information on how to sign up for Internet, telephone, and television services. When an area is under construction, the display text reminds users that the service is typically available within 6-9 months after door hangers alert residents to start construction. It also directs users to a sign up form to be notified when a service is available in their area.
The map and the ability to find your address will be available online in the foreseeable future, said Connexion spokeswoman Erin Shanley. Connexion officials have committed to sharing more information with the public since the network went live in the fall of 2019, and are striving to bridge the line between the community’s right to be informed about a public utility and strategic concerns regarding sharing too much information with private competitors.
“We know this is something that people have wanted for a long time,” Shanley said. “We appreciate your patience and it is part of our promise for greater transparency.”
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The construction of Connexion is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. Construction is complete on approximately 40% of the 357 fiber distribution hubs in Fort Collins, meaning the service is available to approximately 31,500 households, according to Connexion’s May 2021 monthly report.
Connexion’s construction budget in April 2021 was around 76%. The broadband provider’s operating income remains below budget ($ 1.24 million to $ 2.76 million), but so does its expenses ($ 1.71 million to $ 4.23 million).
Construction work in the old town resumed in June after a supply problem interrupted the work. Officials expect the drilling and placing of vaults, the most effective parts of the construction process, to be completed in July.
Jacy Marmaduke covers government accountability for Coloradoans. Follow her on Twitter @jacymarmaduke. Help your work and that of other Colorado journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today.