City, university work together for fiber optic installation

Friday, September 22, 2006

Southeast Missouri State University will partner with the city of Cape Girardeau for a fiber optic installation project at an estimated cost of $125,000.

The project will run fiber optic cable for the university from its campus to the site of the River Campus. The city will join in the project to run conduit for future fiber optic installation from fire station No. 1 to the new fire station No. 3 on North Sprigg Street that is currently under construction.

Bids are currently being accepted for the project, which is expected to begin in late October and be completed by the end of the year.

River Campus project manager Lisa Howe said the university's part of the project will provide data, telephone, ITV, cable TV and security camera video transmission from the River Campus to Southeast's main campus.

City engineer Jay Stencel said the city's cable will be installed later and will provide communication between current fire stations and the communications center that will be located at fire station No. 3.

The city and university will benefit by installing its conduit at a lower cost than if the projects were separate, said Stencel.

"The city and the university's fiber lines would be in the same area, so we're sharing the trench and the contractor so we both have a reduced cost," said Stencel.

The university will take up roughly 64 percent of the cost, while the city will pay the remaining 36 percent. Two separate conduits will be installed for the city and the university. The city's fiber optic lines won't be installed until the new fire station is ready, which will take nearly a year, Stencel said.

Costs on the university's end will come from the telecommunications department, not River Campus money.

The university line will run from the intersection of New Madrid and Sprigg streets to North Street, then turn down an alley between Pacific and Ellis streets, staying on that course all the way to Morgan Oak Street, said university telecommunications director Rodger Chisman. The lines will then follow Morgan Oak to the River Campus site.

The city conduit will follow the same path but stop near fire station No. 1, said Stencel. When the city is ready to install its cable, more conduit will be installed to connect the two fire stations to the already-installed conduit, he said.

Chisman said the university looked at three options for transferring data to the River Campus -- fiber optic, wireless and using a local provider. The fiber optic option was more secure than wireless and was only a one-time cost, instead of a recurring cost that would have to be paid had the university used a local provider.

Stencel said the agreement between the city and university will be on the next city council agenda.

msanders@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 182

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