Next phase of $3 million of fiber optic network project launches

The sharing of 911 systems is expected to be one benefit of a fiber optics network several suburban communities plan to share. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF
The sharing of 911 systems is expected to be one benefit of a fiber optics network several suburban communities plan to share. NICK BLIZZARD/STAFF

The second phase of $3 million, 44-mile fiber optic network project that aims to promote connectivity with local governments, schools, nonprofits and public safety facilities has started.

Crews have begun installing the second and final phase of the GATEway Public Fiber Network.

“In the year since COVID, technology has impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. In many instances, working from home is the norm rather than the exception. Having access to high-speed, reliable, competitively-priced internet service is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity,” Miami Valley Communications Council Executive Director Jay Weiskircher said.

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The communications council includes the cities of Centerville, Germantown, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro and West Carrollton.

In the second phase, limited capacity fiber will be replaced. The MVCC and Independents Fiber Network have and agreement that IFN will fund the $1.8 million phase. IFN owns some of the 10 miles of fiber the currently connects Springboro and Miamisburg.

“Independents Fiber Network is excited to provide its private capital to fully complete the GATEway Fiber Network,” said Independents Fiber Network CEO Robert Shema. “We are honored to be a part of one of the first-of-its-kind public-private partnerships that will deliver state-of-the-art technology. This partnership will also provide a revenue share to the municipalities and up to 100 gig internet service to local businesses in participating communities.”

Phase II is expected to be finished by late this summer.

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The network will allow communities to share resources, including 911 systems, and save money. It also will provide faster data speed and higher capacity.

“The unique public-private partnership with IFN made it possible for member communities to complete this project without any additional investment of taxpayer dollars,” Leanne Nash, MVCC board chair and West Carrollton City Council member, said. " At the end of the project, MVCC and IFN will equally split the available fiber and conduit assets which can then be sold or leased to interested technology providers.”

Phase I, which included installing more than 17 miles of new fiber and conduit and using existing underground municipally owned fiber, was completed in early 2020. Seven of the eight MVCC communities funded the $1.4 million phase.

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