Technology Director, City of Ammon, ID
Bruce Patterson serves as the Technology Director for the City of Ammon. Ammon is a small residential community with a population of just over 14,000 in the southeast corner of Idaho. Bruce started with the City in 2004 becoming responsible for all of the City’s IT and technical systems in 2006. Then, under his direction, the City began pursuit of a municipally owned fiber system in late 2008 with resolutions and ordinances following in short order, and actual construction starting in 2010. Today the City owns and operates some 30 plus miles of backbone fiber which supports City business and utility operations as well as the local schools, public safety, wireless providers and numerous local businesses. One item worth noting is that the City of Ammon does not operate a power utility and the fiber optic department is debit free and cash flow positive.
Some of the City’s successes during Bruce’s tenure include being a proud US Ignite community member, a founding member of Next Century Cities, a sub-awardee of a 2012 US Ignite – National Science Foundation EAGER grant to explore the use of network virtualization for public safety, and being awarded first place in the National Institute of Justice’s Ultra High Speed Applications Challenge for its School Emergency Screencast System.
In 2015 the City began connecting residents in a pilot project in demonstration of a new fiber utility model. As developed by Bruce and Ammon City leaders, the Ammon model uses Software Defined Networking to separate the services from the infrastructure all the way to the home where the subscriber can self-provision any number of services and applications automatically. In further support of this model, the costs for infrastructure and services are presented separately to the subscriber as well. While the fiber infrastructure is maintained by a small monthly utility fee, the subscriber deals directly with the providers of their choice, making those payments separately. Both Bruce and the City believe that there are benefits to be gained from the correct implementation of this new ecosystem.