Company plans $7 million broadband investment in Dover
DOVER — A Cincinnati company is proposing to invest $7 million in private money to bring broadband service to nearly the entire city of Dover, a project that could bring down the cost of internet in the community.
Council members voiced their support for the project Monday after hearing a presentation from representatives of Omni Fiber.
“Their intention is to compete with the existing internet service providers in the area and they were asking for our permission to attach to our poles for a charge per each pole,” said Interim Mayor Shane Gunnoe.
No tax dollars would be involved. However, the company would pay a fee for use of city poles. Dover currently charges $15.61 per pole per year.
Omni Fiber wants to begin work on the project as soon as possible, once it receives all the necessary permits. It will likely take four to five months to complete the work, Gunnoe said.
The company was started this year to fill the gap that traditional telephone and cable companies have left in small to mid-sized cities in the Midwest. It is fully funded by Oak Hill Capital, an investment firm with more than 30 years of experience in the communications sector.
According to Omni Fiber, its leadership team has more than 120 years of combined experience building and operating fiber networks across the U.S., including Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Michigan.
Gunnoe said the company approached the city in May about the project, and officials have been researching Omni since then.
He spoke in favor of the idea.
“Really, it’s a win for everybody,” he said. “The residents of Dover will get more choices and who they want to use for internet, cable services. They will also have a video package similar to a cable package through a cable supplier. The customer will get more choices. The price on average tends to be 25% to 50% less than current providers charge.”
Gunnoe said he liked the idea that this could increase access to reliable internet service, which will be high quality and very fast. He noted that fiber is the fastest internet out there currently available for residential use.
“Hopefully the competition will bring down prices in the Dover market for those services,” he said.