DeltaCom, Inc.

East Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project

The East Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project plans to deploy a 544-mile high-capacity fiber-optic broadband Internet network. More than 50 community anchor institutions in five Eastern Tennessee communities, from Chattanooga through Knoxville to Johnson City and Bristol, will be connected to the high-speed middle mile network. The project intends to offer speeds of up to 10 Gbps to higher education and healthcare institutions, and spur more affordable broadband Internet access for up to 34,000 households, 5,000 businesses, and 270 anchor institutions by allowing local Internet providers to connect to the project’s open network.

Total Award: 
$9,385,452
BTOP In Action
A crane sets down one of the new buildings at DeltaCom’s Cleveland site

In May 2011, Deltacom, Inc., now an EarthLink Business company, completed Phase II of the Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project. Extending from Knoxville to Bristol, the 131 miles of newly lit fiber-optic cable is part of a BTOP-funded 544-mile network that will allow high-speed broadband connectivity to more than 34,000 households, 5,000 businesses, and 270 anchor institutions, including educational and healthcare facilities. The network will enable residents, businesses, and service providers to connect to the Internet with speeds up to 10 Gbps.

Phase I of construction wrapped up in March 2011 and included a 343-mile fiber-optic route from Nashville to Knoxville and Knoxville to Chattanooga.

Deltacom will start the final phase of the project in July 2011. This phase includes adding fiber to interconnection points that will bring new Internet connectivity to five underserved counties across East Tennessee. These interconnection points, located in Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, Sweetwater, and Morristown, will allow local Internet providers to connect to EarthLink's IP network. Once the network is complete, EarthLink will market its full suite of services including carrier wholesale and retail services, in these new East Tennessee markets.

BTOP funds have also allowed Deltacom to hire vendors which created a total of 56 part-time employees, equivalent to 13 full-time staff members, for construction. Deltacom estimates that it will begin offering Internet service in the project area by December 2011.

Last Updated October 17, 2011.

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