The pieces of Westerville's community broadband telecommunications puzzle are falling into place.

The pieces of Westerville's community broadband telecommunications puzzle are falling into place.

Westerville City Council adopted an ordinance May 19 that will fund the completion of a citywide inventory of the city's communication conduit system.

According to information systems director Todd Jackson, Westerville began to locate and verify the infrastructure of its communication conduit system last fall. In order for the work to be completed, the city needs to verify the location and limits of all communication companies using the city's system.

The ordinance adopted last week appropriates $30,000 from the cable TV franchise fund and $12,000 from the electric fund to complete that inventory, which will then be uploaded into the city's GIS software, according to Jackson.

The ordinance names EMH&T Inc. as providing professional services for the job. The city previously contracted with the company for the infrastructure verification work last fall.

Westerville has been considering plans that would make telecommunications and data services available to residents and businesses on a more competitive basis since 2007. The plan, called WeConnect, calls for expanding the city's broadband digital corridor, including the addition of a community data center.

As part of the project, according to Jackson, fiber-optic cable would be buried underground, connecting the southern business districts of the city (Eastwind, Brooksedge and South State Street) with the northern section (Westar and the Westerville Commerce Center).

The connection would also provide northwest and southern access points to the Columbus Fibernet Network (CFN), according to city staff reports. The CFN is a network of communications conduit and fiber-optic cable that has been extended throughout central Ohio. It is capable of providing access to multiple business districts and the Ohio Super Computer Network.

City manager David Collinsworth has said the city's goal is to present a more comprehensive plan for the project to council before it begins summer recess in July. Plans for the data center would be detailed this fall, according to assistant city manager Julie Colley.