The town of Avon is planning a major upgrade to its communications infrastructure. On Thursday, the State Bond Commission approved a plan to send the town a $700,000 grant to build a fiber optic system between its municipal buildings.

According to State Rep. Eleni Kavors DeGraw on Twitter, the grant funding was a project her office had been working on since the beginning of the year. In a press release following the funding announcement, her office stated that the fiber optic network would save local taxpayers about $40,000 per year.

Those savings are projected to come as a result of faster communication over the fiber optic line as well as increased security and fewer weather-related outages.

Fiber optic cables are buried underground rather than strung up on utility lines which protects them from storm damage. Those cables transmit information via light pulses instead of electricity which makes it faster than cable or DSL.

“The benefits of this project are immense for the Town of Avon and Board of Education staff, in addition to students and residents.” said State Rep. Tammy Erum (D-Avon, Farmington, West Hartford) in a statement. “Linking Town and Board of Education facilities through a fiber optic network will bring down and consolidate operating costs and reduce reliance on commercial providers.

The new fiber optic network will connect town and board of education buildings, as well as the police department, the Department of Public Works, the fire department, the public library, and other municipal buildings.

Local leaders also believe that the network could also be rented out to private internet service providers looking to extend fiber optic connectivity to residents and businesses.

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An Emmy and AP award-winning journalist, Tricia has spent more than a decade working in digital and broadcast media. She has covered everything from government corruption to science and space to entertainment...

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