Due to concerns raised by citizens about the lack of adequate and reliable internet service, the City Council appointed Lucas residents to form the Technology Committee to serve as an ad hoc committee in all matters relating to technology-related services in the City. The Technology Committee provided recommendations to the City Council and City Manager to conduct a feasibility study to determine if it is possible for the City to implement and operate a sustainable broadband network to provide internet service to Lucas residents within city limits.
The City moved forward with acquiring the services of Magellan Advisors to conduct a broadband feasibility study which includes a conceptual network design and financial model. The study was based on a fiber-optic broadband network that provides direct fiber-to-the-premise connecting homes and businesses across Lucas. Fiber-optic is the only current technology that provides long-term scalability for broadband networks to accommodate the ever-growing bandwidth needs of users. The conceptual network design would run approximately 107.85 miles which would consist of a fiber backbone and feeder distribution lines that would be available to connect to every residential household and business within the city limits.
The estimated cost for the project is $23.9 million which includes $11.3 million for infrastructure, $3.5 million for network equipment and buildings, $2.6 million for home equipment and $6.5 million for working capital ($1.8 million coming from the bonds and $4.7 million from an interfund loan).
On the November 3, 2020 ballot, the voters will have an opportunity to consider Proposition B regarding the issuance of general obligation bonds in the amount of $19,190,000 to create a City of Lucas fiber optic broadband utility system to provide broadband internet service. IF the Lucas Broadband Project is approved by the voters, this project will operate on a subscription basis giving citizens the option to sign up for this internet service.