A multi-year effort to attract a private-sector partner to fund, build, and operate a citywide fiber-optic network in Lexington has borne fruit.
On Nov. 14, 2017, Mayor Gray announced that MetroNet will invest between $70M and $100M to make Lexington the largest gigabit city in the country, bringing ultrafast internet, television, and telephone service to residents and businesses via fiber cables, which transmit data at the speed of light.
Construction of the fiber-to-the-home network began in January of 2018. Construction crews can already be seen in certain neighborhoods, and they will eventually do work on nearly every street in the city over the next three years.
The first customers will be able to sign up for service in late summer or early fall of 2018.
To track construction, MetroNet keeps an updated map.
Frequently asked questions
Q: I’ve gotten some information from MetroNet. Who are they?
A: MetroNet has an agreement with the city of Lexington to install a citywide fiber-optic network. That network will provide ultrafast internet service at gigabit speeds, television stations, and phone service. To do that, fiber-optic cables are being installed in telephone poles and underground throughout the city.
The company already provides this kind of service in 30 communities in Indiana and Illinois. They are spending at least $70 million to install a fiber-optic network here in Lexington so that consumers have a new choice for internet, television and phone service.
Q: Who are these people in my yard? Are they allowed to be there?
A: Yes. MetroNet has a franchise agreement with the city of Lexington and is getting the required permits. That means that their technicians are allowed to install fiber-optic cable in the two places you generally see telephone poles – in the city’s right of way, which extends across streets from sidewalk to sidewalk, and in utility easements, which are often in backyards and may or may not have telephone poles.
Utilities like MetroNet have the right to put their facilities in utility easements that are likely in your backyard. They also have the right to access the easement, which can mean placing equipment in your backyard within the confines of the utility easement.
If you have questions about how they are accessing your backyard, call MetroNet’s help desk at (877) 386-3876.
Q: What if my lawn, fence, etc. is damaged during construction?
A: The construction phase of this project is temporary, but technicians do need to put fiber-optic cables on telephone poles and underground so that Lexingtonians have a new option for a provider of ultrafast internet, television stations and phone service. MetroNet has pledged to answer all inquiries within 24 hours (one business day) and to repair any damage that occurs during their work.
Anyone can ask questions and receive an immediate response at metronetinc.com/construction or (877) 386-3876.
Q: Can I move the flags in my yard?
A: No, Markers need to remain in place. MetroNet is required by law to work with the 811 system to ensure that other utility companies locate their facilities, like gas lines, water lines and electrical lines.The flags show where the utilities are, so that when MetroNet installs fiber-optic cables, it will safely avoid the other utilities. Once the cable is installed, your home will be ready for MetroNet services and the flags will be removed and any impacts to your lawn will be fixed.
Q: Should I notify MetroNet if I have a sprinkler system, dog fence, sump pump line or other underground facilities?
A: Yes. You can mark your sprinkler system, dog fence, sump pump line or other underground facilities with a white flag or spray paint. If you choose to mark these items with spray paint, look for a landscaping paint that won’t harm your grass.
You can also notify MetroNet of your underground facilities through metronetinc.com/construction or by calling (877) 386-3876.
Q: Why is MetroNet going through my yard – I never said I wanted the service!
A: MetroNet is creating a fiber network throughout the city so that people who want to subscribe to the service can do that. It’s like Spectrum’s cable network, or Kentucky Utilities’ electricity network in that it is a utility that can be placed in the utility easements that exist in the front or back of most homes’ yards in Lexington. Like other utilities, the goal is to make it as widely accessible as possible, although there is obviously no requirement that any home subscribe to the service.
Q: How long will MetroNet be in my yard doing work?
A: MetroNet workers may be in your yard usually between 30 minutes and one day. They will be putting fiber-optic network where your current utilities exist. If your cable and phone lines and electricity lines are up on telephone poles, they will put the fiber up on poles. If your utilities are buried, then they will bury their fiber-optic cable. Before doing underground work, MetroNet may need to locate the other utilities and temporarily move any obstacle that exists in the utility easement.
Q: What’s a utility easement?
A: A utility easement is a part of most people’s property that is designated by city ordinance to be accessible to utilities, like electrical providers, gas providers and cable providers. MetroNet is considered a utility and has a franchise agreement with the city of Lexington to locate its fiber-optic network in utility easements.