SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The upcoming set of bond proposals on the ballot for Shreveport voters on December 11 includes technology upgrades for Shreveport.
Proposition 2 provides for $22 million for technology improvements for the city, including broadband and a fiber-optic communications system for the city.
“To get a fiber line next to every single home it would be $150 million for the city, so this is a drop in the bucket,” said Keith Hanson, Chief Technology Officer City of Shreveport. “It’s future proof. It’s the speed of light! That’s the theoretical limit of how fast you can get an internet connection on it.”
$20 million of the bond would go toward the city’s communication system, broadband, water and sewer, and traffic signals that Hanson says will be installed along Jewella, Line, and Hollywood.
“There will be about 60 traffic signals redone, to allow an intelligent traffic system to control all the timing of the lights. Right now we have basically kitchen timers, mechanical kitchen timers, running our traffic signals. Our citizens will immediately recognize that when these lights get redone that traffic flows much more smoothly.”
Prop. 2 also includes $2 million for a “dig-once” initiative.
“A dig-once policy is basically when somebody is digging in the ground which is the most expensive part for running fiber we will ask them to widen that hole and put another pipe so if they ever need to expand there’s a pipe right there and they won’t have to dig twice.”
Hanson says that would put money back into the city by allowing potential businesses to purchase the use of fiber optics.
“That’s the exciting thing about Prop 2 is that all of it will be able to generate revenues for us. We’ll be able to lease excess capacity inside our fiber lines. Once those fiber lines are in the ground they are there and you can continually upgrade the technology around it.”
Hanson said it would put in the infrastructure needed to bring faster internet to the city.
“The more fiber we have available, the faster we get new technologies like 5G millimeter-wave in our city.”
Hanson also spoke about how the technology upgrades would be used to develop the city’s Real Time Crime Center.
If Proposition 2 passes, Hanson said it would take about two years to get all the infrastructure in place.