eX² Technology, Holland, MI broadband pact creates new broadband opportunities

July 20, 2023
eX² Technology, Holland Board of Public Works, to equip every residence in Holland, MI, with fiber-based broadband.

eX² Technology has partnered with the Holland Board of Public Works (Holland BPW) to design and construct a 195-mile Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) network infrastructure that will give every city of Holland, Michigan, residence access to high-speed internet.

Holland City Fiber expects the first service node to go live during the summer of 2024, and the final phases of the fiber build-out should be completed in 2026 or 2027.

While the FTTP network is new, Holland has plenty of experience with fiber: the community-owned utility has owned and operated a fiber network in West Michigan for 30 years. Like other communities, Holland’s residents decided to make a community investment in a fiber broadband network that would serve every address in the city. A bond supported by a millage will fund the network.

Holland BPW originally installed the fiber network to improve communications between electric substations and has expanded to service the local community. The growth of HBPW's network has allowed HBPW to provide service to school districts, small and large businesses, municipal offices, medical offices, and community service organizations. Today, companies can access two primary benefits: Active Ethernet networks and dark fiber leases.

“We’ve heard from residents for many years requesting access to a community-owned broadband network, and we’re thrilled to be able to make this a reality,” said Ted Siler, Utility Services Director at Holland BPW. “This investment, supported by a millage, means that everyone in the city of Holland will have access to high-speed internet for remote work, healthcare, entertainment, education and more, improving the quality of life for our community – now and into the future.”

The new FTTP network, interconnected with Holland BPW’s 260-mile fiber infrastructure, will meet current and future broadband demands. Holland BPW will offer a 1 Gbps symmetrical service where previously, only 22 percent of Holland had access to gigabit download speeds. Additionally, the network will support any variety of industry-standard FTTP last-mile access technologies, including Active Ethernet and Passive Optical Networks.

Holland BPW awarded eX² Technology a $15.9 million contract to design and build the FTTP network following a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) process earlier this year. “We chose eX² as our design-build partner based on best value, its extensive and successful history executing fiber design and construction management services, and its strong partnership approach,” said Siler.