Aurora is looking at a major expansion of its fiber optic network in 2022.
One project would involve extending the network to the site of the eventual new Public Works building along Liberty Street, just west of County Line Road, while another project would extend the network to the Aurora Municipal Airport.
To do that, the city is looking at about a $2.7 million contract with NTI National Technologies, in Downers Grove, and with Willowbrook-based Adesta LLC, which would be the secondary vendor.
City Council members on the Infrastructure and Technology Committee recently recommended the contract.
Mike Baker, a network engineer, said the city also would use the contract to extend the fiber network to two city wells, and two lift stations. Those projects are part of an ongoing five-year capital improvement move to connect the city's drinking water and water and sewer systems "so they can all be on a secure network," he said.
The connection to the airport has been talked about for a long time, and was recommended by former Police Chief Kristen Ziman.
It was delayed because of finances, and because of concerns related to the fact that extending to the airport means going into neighboring Sugar Grove. City officials were concerned about security of making sure no one unauthorized taps onto the system.
Mike Pegues, Aurora's chief information technology officer, said that the fiber for municipal purposes only will be extended to the airport.
Eventually, the system could be added to Onlight Aurora, the city's fiber optic network. But it would mean anyone looking to tap onto that system would have to pay for it, Pegues said.
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