The bids are in for
the construction of a fiber optic network in the Town of Chesterton, and
At a special
meeting on Monday, the Redevelopment Commission voted unanimously to take
the two bids are under advisement.
* Main path:
$1,147,778.06, from CSU Inc. of Plainfield, Ind. Alternate path: $85,895.85.
* Main path:
$1,889,716.98, from Nitco of Hebron. Alternate path: $148,140.98.
John Nekus of
Monroe Street Group, the Chicago consultancy tapped by the commission in
2016 to shepherd the town through the process of getting a fiber optic
network up and running, told the Chesterton Tribune after the meeting
that the bids fall comfortably within the originally estimated $1.5 million
to $2 million window.
The commission is
now free to complete a 25-year operator’s agreement with Nitco--the Hebron
DSL and broadband provider which designed the network--as well as an
ancillary irrevocable right of use agreement with Spread Networks for access
to the latter’s fiber line between New York and Chicago.
Neckus said, the town’s network will be “totally self-sufficient,” with “the
highest bandwidth and speed in the industry.”
The idea behind the
fiber optic network: to provide business--as well as the Duneland
Schools--with the telecommunications technology needed to compete in the
digital 21st century. Neckus has said that fiber optic networks have become
as much an “infrastructure imperative” for municipalities as clean water,
natural-gas and electric service, and sewer treatment.
The network’s hub
will be located at the municipal complex at 1490 Broadway and its 13.8-mile
line--the main path--will traverse the town, while an alternate path, as
provided by bid specifications, would link Yost Elementary School in the
Town of Porter. The actual construction is expected to be minimally
invasive, most of it done by boring, and Town Engineer Mark O’Dell said that
the town will not need to acquire any additional right-of-way for the
The town itself
will own the conduit and the fiber optic line and will split revenues with
the operator under the terms of a profit-sharing agreement.
The project will be
funded with tax increment financing moneys.