Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Fiber-optic work begins

Butler County hopes network draws high-tech businesses

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Cincinnati Bell has begun to install a high-speed fiber-optics system in Butler County that will run for more than 100 miles and will form the foundation for the county's drive to attract high-tech businesses.

        The first leg of the $10 million system will connect Cincinnati Bell's central office in Evendale to Miami University in Oxford.

        The entire system will run through Hamilton, Oxford, Middletown and West Chester Township, as well as Miami's three campuses. It will be completed next summer. The first leg will be finished within three months, enabling Miami University to be the system's first user.

        The fiber-optics network is expected to provide high-quality, high-speed transmission of voice, video and data. At first, the network will serve Miami, government offices, businesses and schools. County officials hope residents eventually will have access to it.

        “This project is critically important to our county,” County Commissioner Mike Fox said Tuesday.“We're convinced that the fiber-optics network will be a significant factor in creating the type of jobs we want.”

        Cincinnati Bell will install, maintain, monitor and repair the network.

        “Telecommunications plays as large a role as transportation and traditional utilities in attracting businesses,” said Jim Vorwald, vice president of Cincinnati Bell's Solutions, Development and Support.

        Butler County and Normap Inc., an affiliate of SFT Inc. of Toledo, are jointly financing the fiber-optics network.

        The county will own about 20 percent of the system and has leased part of its bandwidth to Miami University.


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