West Side Leader: Beta customers using FairlawnGig as construction continues

Published on 10/6/2016 – West Side Leader

By Sean Patrick

During the Oct. 3 Fairlawn City Council meeting, Mayor William Roth said construction on FairlawnGig — the city’s municipal fiber optic and carrier grade Wi-Fi project — is continuing on schedule and several “beta customers” are already using the service.

“We have some test cases. We have several residents and we have several businesses, including the Hilton [Akron/Fairlawn], and we have the city itself using the service,” he said. “We’re doing it more now for troubleshooting to make sure the system works, and we are very happy with the results. And the entities who have agreed to do this are also very happy. We’ve gotten very good feedback.”

As stated on the official FairlawnGig website, www.fairlawngig.net, the service being installed by Fujitsu will deliver gigabit internet access over a fiber network: “Gigabit = 1,000 megabits upload and 1,000 Mbps [Megabits per second] download. Before FairlawnGig, the fastest residential service available in Fairlawn was 50 Mbps download and 5 Mbps upload. FairlawnGig is 20 times faster for downloads and 200 times faster for uploads than anything available in Fairlawn previously.”

“We’ve been working on installing the FairlawnGig throughout the city, and one of the first areas we did was the service center and data center, but now the city’s administration and departments are also being served by the internet through the Gig,” Roth said. “What that means is that we’ve eliminated about a $1,400 a month bill that we’d normally pay for our internet. We’re now on the Gig, so that’s another positive step in the right direction.”

According to the mayor, the city has been divided into 12 districts for the purposes of installing FairlawnGig.

“We have six wards, but we have created 12 districts,” he said. “They’re working on Embassy Parkway right now along Springside [Drive] and those areas. And we’re also working on some of the business districts along Merz Boulevard and those areas, as well as the Rosemont area and some of the other residential areas. The key is that right now they’re putting in what they call the conduit. After that, they do what is called ‘blowing in the fiber.’ They literally use air to force in the fiber.”

Roth said construction on the project is continuing as scheduled.

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