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Shedding a little light on the city's dark fiber

In response to my inquiry, the city’s Finance Director, Michael Brossart, its IT Director, Terry Brigman, and Gina Jacobi the Assistant General Manager, Fiscal Operations, provided the following:

How much did the dark fiber cost?

Lakeland Electric has invested approximately $8.9 million on the entire fiber network over the last 25 years. We estimate that a brand-new build of our network in today’s cost would be approximately $15 million.

It is estimated that the investment produces an annual cost avoidance (for an alternative) of more than $3.5 million annually.

Is there any current debt service?


How much is spent on maintaining it?

We spend approximately $1.3 million in maintenance annually.

How much revenue is produced by leading it?

Annual revenue is approximately $450,000.00 for leasing dark fiber.

How many companies do so?

Lakeland Regional Health

Century Link (formally Level 3 & TW Telecom)


Polk County (Sheriff & Tax Collector)

Mid Florida Credit Union

Nap of Central Florida (same owner also owns Alternative Choice Wireless)

We just recently executed a dark fiber agreement with Watson Clinic but we haven't yet completed the fiber construction and installations as of today.

We also have two fiber IRUs (indefeasible right of use). These are long-term dark fiber agreements. They paid a large up-front fee for 20 years.

Polk County School Board

Florida Department of Transportation

It can be presumed that the cost to connect would vary significantly and that the cost/benefit calculation would determine the viability. It can be done, but requires capital investment from would-be customers.

As a footnote, I offer images from my Spectrum bill and the results of a speed test. As I upload and download large files fairly often, I have opted for the fastest service (which would be even faster if it were connected directly to the router). Businesses and busier customers might need more, but I think most of us can manage with this.

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