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Local Medina County News

High-speed fiber network gets set to open for home internet access

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    Once the fiber network comes into a neighborhood, this equipment will either be hung on utility poles or on the customers house.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Bob Razem, sales manager for Corning, which is credited with inventing fiber options in 1970 holds a fiber thread in his left hand that can light up a city block.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Bob Razem, right, sales manager for Corning, which is credited with inventing fiber options in 1970 shows off a thread of fiber to Westfields Ken Rockhold on Tuesday at the Medina County University Center in Lafayette Township.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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    Seville Mayor Carol Carter is at the podium Tuesday during a press conference at the Medina County University Center in Lafayette Township promoting a residential fiber network in Medina County. Brian Snider, left, president of Neighborlys Broadband Group, looks on.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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LAFAYETTE TWP. — Within five years, every home in Medina County will have access to a fiber network.

Neighborly’s Broadband Group announced Tuesday the launch of Medina County fiber during a press conference attended by almost 100 people at the Medina County University Center.

Neighborly, a venture-backed technology company that connects communities with capital for public infrastructure projects, is financing the network access.

Construction will begin this summer and residents in Phase I will have service in fall 2020. The communities of Seville Village, Westfield Center Village and Guilford Township will make up Phase I of the project, said Brian Snider, president of Neighborly.

Montville Township and Lodi village will be next to start construction, which takes about 18 months for installation. The rest of the county will be up and running within five years, organizers say.

iFiber Communications, of Washington state, has been picked as the internet service provider, which will bring fiber optic broadband to the county. The anchor tenant will provide internet, television and phone service.

Kelly Ryan, CEO of iFiber, said data will be transmitted at nearly the speed of light.

“It’s the best internet connection you can possibly have,” he said.

Ryan said fiber internet will cost $49.95 for 100/100 megabits per second, $79.95 for 500/500 Mbps and $149.95 for 1000/1000 (1 gigabit).

One can have as many as 15 devices running in the same household with 100 Mbps. One never has to worry about running out of bandwidth, Ryan said.

iFiber will open a local office and demo center and will hire local workers.

David Corrado, CEO of the Medina County Fiber Network, said the county needs modern infrastructure in order to compete in the fast-moving global economy.

The fiber network has been available to commercial and industrial sectors, and has been responsible for attracting and growing business in Medina County.

Medina County Commissioner Colleen Swedyk said the fiber network is a passion of hers.

“It encourages innovation and helps drive down costs while boosting customer service,” she said. “Now, our residents will have more choice, especially in areas where they have had no choice at all.”

The Medina County fiber is an open access network, which will offer multiple services and service providers in a shared public infrastructure.

Corrado asked those in the audience to think of open access as a railroad track. Each train on the track is a different carrier.

He said the way for a community to get the fiber network faster is to respond to the survey at www.medinafiber.com.

Snider said a demonstration center will soon be set up in Seville. Mayor Carol Carter said Seville’s residents are hungry for a fiber network.

She said she’s tired of watching the buffer circle going around on her computer screen. Carter called it the “circle of death.”

“This is 2019 for gosh sakes,” she said.

“Fast internet isn’t about the future. It’s about now. We have been held hostage (by one provider). ”

Ryan said the county will no longer be held hostage.

“This will end the monopoly,” he said. “This is powerful. We will offer next-generation service.”

In other news

  • Medina County voters approved in 2018 a 0.05 percent sales tax for county schools. The first quarter distribution was announced Tuesday:

— Brunswick $894,474.09;

— Medina $865,539.44;

— Wadsworth $603,037.82;

— Highland $414,751.76;

— Cloverleaf $309,900;

— Buckeye $285,848.22;

— Medina County Career Center $139,722.96;

— Black River $74,356.06;

— Norwayne $7,429.12;

— Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities $4,485.58;

— Rittman $3,325.45.

  • Commissioners passed a resolution to place the Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ renewal levy on the November ballot. The 1.12-mill levy is for 10 years.
  • The county has authorized a memorandum of understanding with the NEXUS pipeline to provide public safety in an area where NEXUS operates. The funding will upgrade and equip the county’s communication system and to provide necessary training, emergency response equipment and facilities in support of first responders.
    About 24 miles of the NEXUS pipeline and compressor station is located in Medina County.
    County Administrator Scott Miller said he’s unsure how much NEXUS is going to donate.
  • The county will sell 0.7956 acres on three parcels of land to the city of Medina for $50,000. The city is expected to use the South Elmwood Avenue land for parking.
  • The Medina County Sanitary Engineer’s office is borrowing $1.5 million from the Ohio Water Development Authority to fund modifications and repairs to the Medina County Solid Waste District facility in Westfield Township.
Contact reporter Bob Finnan at rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.


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