Roll-Call CEO Dr. Lea made the official announcement to public relations that the redundant fiber circuit was finally completed going into the city of Lampasas. Thanks to the hard work from its partners at Windstream and Alpheus there are 3 fiber paths coming into Lampasas County to provide failover redundancy and load balancing. With the associated leased data centers in Temple, Austin and Alpine Texas to ensure data can move freely and without interruption. The city demarcation build-out has also been completed with a total capacity currently at 100Gbps and expandable to 500Gbps if needed.
Thanks to quick work from the Roll-Call legal team Roll-Call has also been able to secure franchise pole rights to the city’s utility infrastructure by piggy-backing on the AT&T pole rights with a proposed 10 year agreement. For future expansion Roll-Call, according to the legal team, is working with Frontier and Centurylink to obtain pole rights using their associated franchise agreements in areas where Hamilton electric and Pedernales have utilities.
Starting this week the first 3000 feet of the 288 strand fiber trunk will be run from the demarcation site to the intersection of US HWY 190 and US HWY 183.
With the assistance from Roll-Call partners AFLG and FTP the design and build-out of the fiber-to-the-premise will carry the 288 strand trunk up Key Avenue all the way to the airport. From that central trunk the Optical network will branch off (moving east and west) to the current incorporated borders of the city of Lampasas. The work will be done in phases starting with the southern parts of town. Current plans will have the fiber optic network extending to the borders of the incorporated part of town as of January 2019.
Dr. Lea stated openly he wanted to ensure current customers that they will be extending the fiber optic PON network to areas beyond city borders such as Sunrise Hills/Dawns Peak and the businesses surrounding that area. They will also extend down US-281 as far as county Road 101. The network design will allow for future growth outside the city as the city inevitably grows.
Representatives from FTP commented that the design and build plans took nearly 2 years but the extra attention to detail was worth it. The results of the public survey Roll-Call put out in 2016 and 2017 were very telling. It gave the team the motivation to keep pressing forward with the project.
Now that the design and build planning phase has completed all the parts and components have been ordered. Roll-Call announced it may solicit bids from local contractors to perform a portion of the network build-out or it may just post seasonal jobs to the local community.
Build-out phase 0 is complete and demarcation has been placed at the Lampasas Economic Development land on US HWY 183 south of town. The commercial “spec-build” land the city is offering to prospective businesses has access to fiber now. Build-out of phase 1 will focus the business and neighborhoods following US 190 and US 281/Naruna Road. Starting with the Sante Fe Square in late July or early August. Phase 1 will complete its build by the end of September and be ready for customer (end-user) connection requests.
Roll-Call has not released any customer build-out costs or information relating to installation costs as of yet but they did release some information on available speeds that customers could expect. In typical Roll-Call fashion the speeds will be managed and dedicated and could be anywhere from 60Mbps to 200Mbps unthrottled and of course, with no data caps.
Although the buildout will bring the fiber optic network to the street / pole the phased build-out does not include running the fiber to the doorstep. As each customer premise is different so Roll-Call thought it best to perform the line install to each customer individually based upon that customers expectations and request.
When asked, Mr. Sprague, CISO/CIO of Roll-Call wanted it to be known that any builders/developers planning on new housing subdivisions should incorporate fiber optic PON networks into their subdivision design and build-out leaving an access point at the entrance of the new subdivision so that Roll-Call can tie into that network and supply the new homes with service. The same goes for new apartment complex sites and senior community sites.
“Gone are the days of cruddy old phone lines and useless coax cable running to every building.” Mr. Sprague stated going on to say “It makes no sense to run those things in a new home when cable and satellite TV will be dead in 5 years and no one uses an analog phone service anymore.”
Roll-Call CEO Dr. Lea also stated that rural high speed internet service will still be provided by means of fixed terrestrial wireless, but that more capacity will become available by those current customers leaving for fiber optic service.
“Adding this much infrastructure and that many customers is going to be tough and it will certainly leave Roll-Call needing qualified staff to manage it and customer expectations,” Dr. Lea stated adding that “Roll-Call will create almost 35 new jobs in the first year after deployment and possibly 15-20 more shortly after.”
Roll-Call recognizes the skills gap in Lampasas for certified network technicians and engineers and has already released its plan to mitigate that risk. Roll-Call, working with the Lampasas County Higher Education Center, will provide IT training to new and potential employees to get them up to speed on career requirements.
Roll-Call has been field testing its fiber optic network with local companies like Gerber Collision, Boone RV Park and others. The field tests have been very successful and only a few hiccups. Current businesses in town may have access to the fiber network before residents as Roll-Call is looking for anchor tenants.
This is a big moment for the rural sleepy city of Lampasas, TX and one that is sure to stimulate new growth from existing businesses and new ones alike.