SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Approximately 40,000 Springfield addresses will have the option to upgrade from cable internet to fiber.

Instead of copper wires, fiber uses a strand of glass to send data, making the internet safer, faster, and more reliable.

“Springfield, in general, has been in pretty good shape when it comes to broadband, but not every neighborhood, not every household, and not every business,” said Jeff Bertholdi, the director of SpringNet. “This is closing those gaps.”

SpringNet is a division of City Utilities in charge of creating a city-wide infrastructure for fiber internet.

Bertholdi said they are about a third of the way through the three-year project.

“There’s lots of fiber in town, so this isn’t a new thing to Springfield, but having every residential address and every commercial address is a big change,” said Bertholdi.

Right now, Lumen or Quantum, the new name for CenturyLink, is the only service provider on the City Utilities fiber grid. Lumen or Quantum’s plan provides up to 1000 megabytes per second speed for about $65 a month.

“The benefits that we get out of that are the ease of home-schooling, and telecommuting, working from home, teledoc system, and Telehealth,” said Bertholdi. “Not that those things weren’t possible before, but now they’re possible everywhere.”

City Utilities plans to lay about 1000 miles of fiber optic cable and cover about 115,000 addresses by the time the project is complete.

“If you look at March of 2020 when we really started the construction, we were hoping to be done by Spring of 2023, and we think we’re going to beat that now,” said Bertholdi.

Now, City Utilities is ahead of schedule and hopes to finish by fall of 2022.