Local News

The Optics Of Fiber Optics In Tusayan

July 8, 2016

Bringing high-speed internet to Tusayan is doable but expensive. Atlantic-Tele Network or ATN has a plan to do that by bringing fiber optic cable from Williams to Tusayan.

ATN specializes in cellular infrastructure. They cover the Navajo and Hopi communities and they have installed networks from Flagstaff to Page.

TheTusayan project’s price tag would be between $7 million to $8 million. Most of the optic cable would be placed on power poles and only a portion would be buried. Burying all of the cable would double the price. 

ATN Vice President John Champagne said his company would need utility status with the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to make use of utility poles. He does not see that as a problem.

Easements would also have to be obtained from the Forest Service for part of the cable’s path. Meanwhile the National parks Service is doing a feasibility studying on bringing high speed internet to the Grand Canyon National Park.

The biggest challenge is covering the cost. With a population of around 500 people residential connection would be a challenge.

Champagne said, “Offering retail services in a town this remote that has a low population is very very difficult to make a profit. If the town wants to see a service offered in the community at the residential level with something that would be the equivalence of a metro market, that’s simply not going to be possible without some type of subsidy or some type of an aid to construct dividing the costs.”

He added that his parent company is willing to sell wholesale bandwidth and let someone else do the retailing to consumers.

Reuter feels the project would be good for the whole town and he plans to get back to ATN sometime in August.