Crews working to install new high speed internet in Springfield

Published: May. 19, 2020 at 6:40 PM CDT
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You might see workers installing fiber optic cable in parts of Springfield for the foreseeable future. They're laying the groundwork for faster Internet, at a time when a lot more people are working from home.

When the work is done, more than 100,000 homes and businesses in Springfield will see download speeds up to 1 gigabit. Despite the fact we've seen a very wet spring, they're pressing on to get the job done.

Pushing conduit and cabling through softened soil today, crews made progress toward a big goal.

"City Utilities Springnet, the team has done a really great job of planning around this," said Steve Kirks, CenturyLink Senior Manager and Fiber Market Lead.

Kirks said the rainy weather hasn't slowed the mutli-million dollar project down at all.

"We're looking forward to accelerating the existing build," he said.

The push to add about 650 miles of fiber optic internet lines is huge, with more people working from home; some of them perhaps permanently even after the pandemic eases.

"Internet for Springfield has been important for a lot of reasons," said Kirks. "And internet for Springfield and CenturyLink is, I think, even more important now."

CenturyLink chose Springfield and 9 other cities across the country to expand its services this year. And as more and more fiber is prepared here in Springfield, homes and businesses will see the results other cities are already utilizing.

"We've been able to prioritize areas that either already have fiber build outs or that are jobs like mine that are already in progress," said Kirks. "We can get as much internet out to as many people as possible, and as quickly as possible."

Internet is a lifeline for both employees and families stuck at home during this pandemic. Having lived in Springfield for nearly 30 years, Kirks is happy to see his company better connecting his city.

"I am absolutely thrilled to be working here and helping my community actually get the service that I've sold to so many other people over the years, just a big thank you to Springfield, thank you."

The first customers will go online in a couple months, starting in north Springfield.