A three-and-half-mile expansion of Monett's fiber optics system is presently underway. The latest work loops the southern part of the town, running from the Jack Henry and Associates campus, west across Moge Road and north to South Park.
Utilities Superintendent Pete Rauch said the city's fiber optics network expands based on the requests for service by customers, rather than adding length each year. Extending fiber optics is relatively cheap. The three-and-a-half-mile addition, using city crews and material, will cost approximately $8,000.
Contracts using Monett's fiber optics are arranged through Missouri Telecom, Empire District Electric and the KAMO Electric Cooperative. Rauch said the city has interconnects with all three and gets paid for the last mile of service.
The latest work will hook Missouri Gas Energy with high speed Internet service through KAMO. Along the way several other jobs will get connected, Rauch said.
The fiber optics line will hook in to the city's #15 well. The supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system, which allows remote control of the well from Monett City Hall presently works on a wireless connection that is more reliable than the hard-wired fiber optics network, Rauch said.
Line that will be laid along Highway 37 will hook up the SCADA to the southern lift station in the field north of the Church of the Nazarene. After proceeding north and hooking in the MGE office, installers will proceed to South Park. A connection will be laid for the new Monett Area YMCA building and whatever structure is erected to replace the City Park Casino.
"The new casino, whether it fits in the current footprint or is totally new, will have modern communications standards," Rauch said.
Crews will also run a fiber optics line into the North Park to hook in the press box in the new concessions building. The connection will allow a fiber hookup for a camera so that police can keep a constant view of the building, which suffered from break-ins this year.
"The fiber optics service has made a really nice sideline business," Rauch said. "It started as a way to provide quality SCADA service for the city. Now it helps serve other customers."
Other companies are also placing fiber optics line in the city. Rauch said the service operates in a very competitive market, unlike the other services provided solely through the city's utilities department. MGE has a 60-month contract for its new connection. Customers sign contracts for 32 to 72 months. Typically clients renew, because they are satisfied with the service they receive, Rauch added.