Downtown's New Network

The downtown installation has had some delays, but new customers are being hooked up. Here’s a bit of what’s going on behind the scenes.

Splicing fiber in winter
Splicing fiber in the snow.

At the end of January, Holland BPW switched pilot sites over to their new ISP network. The new network uses their dedicated IP address range ( for you network nerds1), and has two routes to the internet.

Both connections to the internet are 1 Gbps and utilize partner ISPs already connected to BPW’s network. One is through US Signal which goes through Grand Rapids, and then to Chicago (network map). The other is through and goes through Detroit (network map). Traffic is routed over the best route using BGP.

The downtown network will connect through a new hut located behind the 7th Street parking deck, on the northeast side. The hut was installed late in the fall, and is now coming online.

The new fiber hut
Fiber hut in November

The pilot network connected through the James De Young power plant. Moving to the new hut ensures that this network won’t be impacted by the plant’s decommissioning. This downtown node would be just the first as the project expands. The 2016 study estimated 4 nodes to cover the entire BPW electric service area.

We’re hoping to know more about possible future expansion plans in the coming weeks.

1 Their IPv6 range, 2604:7840::/32, has not been enabled on the network yet, but we’re pushing to get it soon.

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