MONTVILLE TWP. — With the initial investment that brought the Medina County Fiber Network to fruition for commercial users nearly paid off, steps are being taken to bring the service to residents, something that has been part of the plan since 2012.
David Corrado, CEO of the network, said Tuesday the Medina County Fiber Network has paid off about 95 percent of its bond financing.
As such, the network may soon be offering residential service.
Corrado outlined how it would work for Montville Township trustees during a meeting. However residents in the community may be at least two years from seeing the service in their area.
The network is managed through the Medina County Port Authority, but the Medina County commissioners paid for its construction with recovery zone bonds issued in 2010. The fiber network is available to businesses and government entities now in the county.
The residential expansion includes a partnership with Neighborly, which wants to construct open access fiber to the home networks in Seville, Westfield Center, Lodi and Guilford Township in its Phase 1. Neighborly is a community broadband accelerator that works on network expansions.
The second phase of the project will cover the rest of the county, including Montville. If there’s extreme interest in another area in the county, that could push ahead plans in that area, Corrado said.
This will be a further revenue generator for the Medina County Fiber Network, but how much is not known at this time.
“(Neighborly) will pay us to use our fiber as a transport,” Corrado said.
He said the contract has yet to be signed, so he didn’t have a monetary figure about what they would pay.
“We’ll have carriers that will connect with our network,” Corrado said. “They will build off that and sell services off that connection.”
It hopes to eventually be in 40,000 to 50,000 homes in the county.
Neighborly promises better service and more reliable internet options with a lower price tag.
Open access networks allow multiple services and service providers to operate on a single network. This arrangement allows customers to pick and choose services from various providers according to their needs and budget.
There are also no contracts. Subscriptions are month-to-month.
Corrado said the average internet connection in Medina County right now is 29.5 megabits per second, or Mbps, compared with a national average of 99 Mbps. Neighborly will offer fiber internet at 100 Mbps for $49 per month.
If customers want higher internet speeds, 500 Mbps will be available for $79 and 1,000 Mbps will be $149.
The fiber transmits data at near the speed of light. The company says that translates into faster load times, smoother streaming and reduced buffering. It claims customers will notice the difference immediately.
Neighborly is asking residents interested in the service to take a survey at www.medinafiber.com.
Click on Medina County on the right and input your address when prompted. From there, the link for the survey will pop up.
“It’s not like any other cable company,” Corrado said. “This is being built for communities.”
He said he expects construction to start this summer with Phase 1. Service could start by the end of the year, and out to 18 to 21 months in some areas.
“Then we’ll start moving in this direction (Montville),” Corrado said.
Montville would be at least two years away from getting the fiber network unless there’s an outpouring of interest in the service.
He said Neighborly will bury the fiber underground in 4-inch conduit, whenever possible. In other cases, it will be attached to utility poles.
“This is going to bring in more than just internet, voice and TV,” Corrado said.
A higher-speed internet opens up the possibilities for more smart devices in the home, he said.
In other news
- Highland High School junior Dennis Boychuk had the winning entry in the township’s Bicentennial Banner Contest. Boychuk beat out about a dozen other contestants and won a $50 gift certificate to Panera Bread.
Trustees asked art teachers to have students design the logo that will be used on the township’s official letterhead and be displayed on its webpage.
Junior Lily Coss finished second and won a $25 Amazon gift card, while Collin Crandall was third and won a $15 Amazon card. He wasn’t able to attend the meeting.