Connext building fiber network in Ogden, expanding local internet options
OGDEN — Connext, already expanding its fiber optic network in several locales around Northern Utah, is coming to Ogden.
The upshot when the network is complete will be another internet option for consumers on top of incumbents like Comcast and CenturyLink. Connext, based in Ogden, has completed networks in Farr West and Clinton and is nearing completion of systems in Plain City, Kaysville and South Weber.
“We’re going to take on the task of connecting everybody,” said Connext spokesperson Brian Papworth. That is, the company plans to install fiber throughout Ogden — not just more densely populated areas where it’s easier to sign up larger number of users — enabling whoever is interested to connect into the system.
Connext launched development of a network in South Ogden in April and work on the Ogden network — expected to cost $30 million to $40 million — commenced on Monday. Connext also plans to build in Sunset, among other locales.
Announcement of Connext’s plans in Ogden comes amid a flurry of internet development in Northern Utah and beyond as internet connectivity becomes an increasingly basic commodity. All West Communications broke ground last February on a $16 million network to be built in North Ogden while officials in West Haven and Syracuse, among other cities, are working with UTOPIA Fiber in construction of networks in those locales.
The Ogden network should be complete within “a couple years,” Papworth estimates, though residents will be able to connect in built-out areas as development proceeds. Meantime, customers are already signing up in Kaysville and other locales where Connext is expanding.
“We’re meeting expectations” in terms of subscribers, Papworth said. “Now we are looking to beat expectations.”
Connext’s residential offerings start at $35 a month for a speed of 100 megabits per second. Next is a 250Mbps option for $50 per month and a 1 gigabit per second option for $65.
Connext received a nonexclusive franchise agreement to build its network in city right-of-way from Ogden last year. It has already installed fiber in “a test area” of the city and its fiber will be underground in some sections and hang from existing utility poles in other areas.
Connext has also worked with the City of Ogden, notably building a 5-mile fiber-optic ring around the city-owned Ogden-Hinckley Airport. “During that partnership, we’ve helped Ogden city reduce or remove many of their telecommunications connectivity costs,” Connext Chief Executive Officer David Brown said in a statement.
A public ceremony marking Connext’s planned buildout in Ogden is scheduled for June 7 at 4 p.m. under the Ogden arch on Washington Boulevard. A ceremony marking development of a system in Sunset will be held June 6 starting at 5:45 p.m. Connext is also planning to expand into Washington Terrace, with a ceremony to launch work perhaps within the next month or so.