In June 2011, Com Net began construction in Paulding County, Ohio, as part of the GigE PLUS Availability Coalition project, which plans to install approximately 700 miles of high-capacity fiber-optic lines to expand an existing network in 28 western counties of the state. The project will provide affordable broadband access for local consumers and businesses, including as many as 737,000 households, 165,000 businesses, and 2,900 community anchor institutions, by enabling local Internet service providers to connect to the BTOP funded open network. Com Net’s build out will also enable more than 300 public safety agencies to upgrade their radio towers and public safety answering points from T-1 lines to Ethernet speeds of up to 10 Gbps, so they can deploy next-generation devices and enhanced 911 capabilities.
Underground construction started in the Wayne Trace Local School District, which includes a high school and two elementary schools. The area has some level of existing wireless Internet currently, but storms and high winds regularly knock out the service. Com Net’s underground broadband network will provide steady, reliable Internet service to these schools as well as the residents in this district. Com Net laid 18 miles of fiber in the first month of construction, and it aims to complete and activate more than 200 miles by December 2011, at which point construction will likely experience two months of weather-related delays before returning to full production in the Spring of 2012. This new segment is expected to connect more than 40 community anchor institutions to broadband. The project has already connected three hospitals and an information technology center serving 23 K-12 school districts. In addition, before the start of the 2011-12 school year, 40 schools are expected to obtain improved high-speed broadband service from the network.
BTOP funds have also helped the GigE PLUS Availability Coalition project to create full-time construction jobs for eight employees. In addition, Com Net is contracting for design and build activities, including construction crews totaling more than 30 people.
Last Updated: October 19, 2011