Since 2002, Idaho Falls Power (IFP) and Idaho Falls Fiber (IFF) started laying the groundwork for the fiber network. It started with an upgrade to the City’s communication infrastructure as a way to keep costs low. By 2006, the City established a public-private partnership with local Internet Providers and began commercially leasing its dark fiber to providers. This partnership spurred economic growth and competition as a result of providing state-of-the-art connectivity to local businesses. This endeavor's success has provided connectivity to more than 500 Idaho Falls businesses!
Now, through a continued public-private partnership, IFF, UTOPIA (a Utah-based, community-owned, not-for-profit agency) and local Internet Providers will roll out the a fiber expansion into residential neighborhoods! This pilot program sets the stage for not only the utility’s future, but also for the future of other publicly-owned utilities.
The expansion of the current Fiber Network becomes essential in developing and modernizing the Electrical Grid to continue delivering reliable, secure, economical and sustainable electricity to Idaho Falls’ customers. Such benefits include the increased use of digital information and technology, real-time information regarding outages, and the development and implementation of energy-efficiency resources. Not to mention, customers will have the ability to integrate more ‘smart’ appliances, technology and consumer devices to manage their electric consumption.
The expansion of the Fiber Network will bring IFP and IFF together with the private business sector through partnerships. IFF and IFP will manage and maintain the infrastructure – something they do best. While the private business sector will provide the actual broadband service to customers -- something they do best.