City Broadband Initiative
The City of Durham entered into a partnership with Duke University and DHA to provide high speed wireless internet for the residents of eight Durham Housing Authority properties. The project is funded partially by money allocated by the City from funds provided through the CARES Act Federal Relief Program. The primary project objective is to provide connectivity for Durham Public School students living at the identified DHA properties to facilitate remote learning given the necessities of the Covid-19 crisis.
An article by WRAL explains the impact on the community:
Duke and City Fiber Partnership
Duke University decided to establish their own network by undertaking the Triangle Fiber Project, a collaborative effort with MCNC to install a fiber optic network to provide broadband service to NC State, Duke and UNC Chapel Hill. In conjunction with Duke’s portion of the TFP, Duke reached out to the City of Durham and Durham County about a potential cost sharing agreement to provide fiber optic cable to the City and County for their use in providing high bandwidth broadband service to their facilities. The CIO is a member of the North Carolina Next Generation Network consortium. The group collaborates on broad-band initiatives for the entire region of municipalities and universities.
The Technology Solutions department, in preparation for the increase in bandwidth needs of the City and increases in the use of smart City technologies, required additional bandwidth that the current provider cannot provide. The current internet service provider was providing spotty service at some City facilities and charging high prices to the City for service. As a good citizen of Durham, Duke University decided to offer the City and County of Durham, at their own expense, the opportunity to construct spurs and connect City and County buildings to the Duke fiber network us. Duke has offered the City and County of Durham use of eight fibers in their backbone.
The City of Durham, in a cost share arrangement with Duke University and Durham County, has provided engineering design for the fiber optic spurs, construction services, the necessary hardware to connect the spurs to the designated facilities, and implementation services for the hardware needed to light the spurs and associated City sites. Each partner has separate conduits with fiber constructed and installed within the spur route. The City is responsible for “lighting” the fiber and installing electronics to provide connectivity to each of the facilities on the segmented fiber network.
This project allowed the City to provide free WIFI to the DHA communities in Durham.