Today Next Century Cities helped celebrate the official launch of Ammon, Idaho’s fiber utility service. The city’s fiber network is the first of its kind, and put the Idaho town on the front lines of global infrastructure innovation and economic development.


Ammon paid for the installation of the initial fiber backbone, but the network is unique because it’s built as open access infrastructure, which allows independent internet service providers to operate over the network in order to compete for customers. Customers in Ammon have the ability to choose from a variety of providers, and can instantaneously switch their service provider with the click of a button on the fiber utility website. The #AmmonModel provides local Internet choice with a fiscally responsible investment strategy.  


Ammon has experienced tremendous success with the service so far, achieving a 75% voluntary take rate and adding zero debt to the city. The network has become a model for communities across the country who hope to harness fiber networks to improve the quality of life for their residents and compete in the twenty-first century digital economy. Learn more about the #AmmonModel in this video.


The official launch event, held on October 5, 2017 at the Ammon Operations Center, gave city officials a chance to talk about how they designed and implemented the project. The event also featured panels of industry experts who discussed a variety of topics, including smart cities, government’s role in network development, economic feasibility, and infrastructure as a platform. At lunchtime, attendees watched a video address prepared by former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler.


In the afternoon, attendees broke into groups to tour the Ammon Central Office and network nodes, and to participate in roundtable discussions with broadband engineers, architects, vendors, and legal and policy experts.


The event also highlighted a new Harvard publication about the Ammon model, entitled “Enabling Competition & Innovation on a City Fiber Network,” published today. Find the full report here.


Watch a full recording of the event here.


Chris Mitchell, Next Century Cities’ Policy Director, leads a conversation with the Ammon team: Bruce Patterson, Ammon’s Technology Director; Mayor Dana Kirkham; Matt Hulse, Ammon resident and Neighborhood Champion; Brian Powell, Council President; and Scott Hall, City Attorney.