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.

E-mail the commissioners

But one at a time, please!


For the most part, when recipients open an email that includes others they are less inclined to take it personally. Make sure your message resonates by sending it to each commissioner separately.

Scott Franklin - Stephanie Madden -  Sara McCarley - Chad Mcleod

Bill Mutz - Bill Read - Phillip Walker

Each of these noble citizens represents all the rest of us. The four geographic designations - Northwest, Northeast, Southwest, and Southeast, etc. - apply only to the residency requirements for commissioners, not to their constituents. Bill Read, for instance, lives in the city's northeast quadrant and is likely to be more in tune with the businesses and neighborhoods in that area, but serves us all as our representative to the city management and staff.

It will always help to send your message to City Manager Shawn Sherouse  because it's his job to implement whatever projects, resolutions, and ordinances the Commission proposes in response to our communication.


State legislators representing Lakeland

Representative Colleen Burton

Senator Kelli Stargell