Can we talk broadband?
That’s the question that citizens and business owners kept asking the City of Loveland, Colorado as they were exploring the possibility of bringing high-speed connectivity to their community.
With a population of around 77,000 and growing, the city is located along the north central border of the state and many of the residents commute to nearby Denver, Boulder and Fort Collins for work. With its close proximity to these larger cities, Loveland is an ideal location to live and work. In 2015, the city took the first step in their journey by joining other cities, counties and municipalities in opting out from a 2005 Colorado law that prevented local governments from investing in broadband infrastructure.
As the City of Loveland studied their options for a municipal broadband network, they discovered they could provide their residents a cost-effective, high-speed connectivity solution that would offer reliability and superior locally-based customer service.
To gain insight during their planning efforts, city officials consulted with nearby communities, as well as municipalities in other states that had recently deployed broadband networks. Drawing on the experience and knowledge they learned by networking with these other cities helped the City of Loveland as they worked through the planning process.
The team from the Wesco branch in nearby Denver was already providing the City of Loveland’s existing electric utility with infrastructure products and services. This established relationship with the city engineers provided the opportunity to offer the city solutions and advice on fiber materials and services for the broadband project.
In the fall of 2018, after working with a consultant on a feasibility study, they decided to move forward with a community-owned broadband network, which was ultimately branded Pulse.
In a press release talking about the name chosen for the broadband project, it was mentioned that the rhythm of life in Loveland is vibrant and full
of energy and the name represents the connection between community and technology – a community with heart and a 100% fiber optic network delivering internet connectivity via pulses of light.
“We are proud of the progress we’ve made during the last two years to bring community-owned, 100% fiber-optic internet, voice and television services to the residents and businesses of Loveland. We very much appreciate having a solid and reliable partner like Wesco working closely with us to help ensure success as we bring this utility to life,” said Loveland Pulse Senior Construction Project Manager, Kim Reeves.
City of Loveland, Colorado
Bringing reliable, high-speed connectivity to the entire community.
- FTTx deployment assistance from the Wesco Broadband Support Center
- Implemented a just-in-time distribution model
- Provided warehouse and yard for all inventory storage needs
- Alternative product sourcing to ensure project deadlines were met
- Negotiated pricing and volume buying
- Wesco integrated supply services provided eCommerce ordering and procurement services
- 48-hour just-in-time delivery from order release to on-site
- Warehouse efficiencies created for high volume of product
- Significant transaction and invoice reductions from eCommerce solution
- Improved pricing, ordering and service from Wesco integrated supply services
- Project efficiencies and cost-savings
Steady forward momentum
Construction on the Pulse project began in November 2019 and is expected to take four years to build the network to pass every home and business in the city. Additional work is in progress to serve other residents within the Loveland electric service territory footprint including residents in Larimer County. The first connection was completed in the summer of 2020. The original project scope included approximately 37,600 addresses with a successful implementation defined as achieving a 32% take rate.
Wesco is providing fiber products for last mile FTTP connection, fiber accessories, vaults, conduit, signage, stickers, installation accessories, test equipment and more. Utilizing their experience and knowledge learned from similar FTTx projects, the Wesco team was able to deliver supply chain solutions to help the City of Loveland streamline the project and provide efficiencies and cost-savings.
- Inventory Management – including weekly updates of inventory, items on order, checks and balances and other reporting components
- Utilizing Supplier Relationships – long-term relationships with the industry-leading suppliers means we can help negotiate pricing, ensure level pricing and negotiate volume buys that result in project cost-savings
- eCommerce Platform – Streamlines the ordering and procurement process and provides real-time inventory, shipping and tracking info
- Wesco's integrated supply services – provide customer with advanced e-procurement systems, world-class inventory, professional on-site materials management and optimized logistics services
An integral piece to the relationship with the City of Loveland on this project was the expertise and fiber deployment experience provided to the city by the internal Wesco Broadband Support Center. We are able to offer customers the highly-specialized technical support that the BSC delivers, along with customized supply chain management tools from a single turnkey provider.
The City of Loveland’s collaboration with other nearby municipalities that are offering broadband or deploying fiber networks has resulted in cost-savings, operational efficiencies and the ability to share resources.
The city’s plans for using their fiber network are still evolving and will provide many opportunities for exciting new innovations.
Getting there is about the journey
Building a fiber network can be a challenging effort, but having an experienced supply chain partner like Wesco can take the bumps out of the road.
“Our customers’ goals are our goals. By aligning our fiber broadband services and operations to meet the exact needs of the City of Loveland’s broadband project plan, we can assure that we are providing a customized solution,” stated Steve Dean, Senior Vice President, Utility at Wesco. “We look forward to our continuing partnership to help deliver reliable high-speed broadband to the City of Loveland residents.”