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VALPARAISO | The possibility of having a high-speed Internet fiber loop around the city is drawing closer.

In November, the Redevelopment Commission approved a $33,520 proposal for Technology Dynamics, of Indianapolis, to perform a study of the need for a new high-speed Internet fiber loop around the city to determine its needs for current businesses and potential needs for future prospects.

City Economic Director Patrick Lyp plans to give an update on the study at the commission's June meeting.

"I'm very excited in terms of the possibility for the community," he said.

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Lyp said the project scope is simply not just putting conduit in place. He said in some situations a community may put down conduit — empty casings. Then at some future date they may might run fiber through it.

Lyp said the intent in Valparaiso is to have conduit and the fiber going through it so businesses can use it right away. Conversations with stakeholders in the project have been ongoing.

Although they're not signed up for it yet, some of those stakeholders include Porter Hospital, St. Mary Medical Center — Valparaiso Health Center, Task Force Tips, Indiana Beverage and Golden Tech. Lyp said the Valparaiso Economic Development Corp. is "enthusiastically in support of this project as well."

"All those businesses have been involved from the get go and have all provided good input as to how we should act," Lyp said. "I think the key takeaway is this is not a pie-in-the-sky, 2019 or 2020 project. This will hopefully be a 2015, 2016 project."

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Lake County reporter

Rob covers urban affairs and other matters in Crown Point, St. John, Winfield and beyond. Previously he covered Valparaiso, Hammond, Gary and East Chicago. He's also written for various magazines and pens a culture blog for The Times.