Summit County, Ohio, is creating a broadband network

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Several new items of legislation to create Summit Connects, a high-speed broadband public safety network, were introduced at the June 13 Summit County (OH) Council meeting. According to county officials, the network will initially consist of a 125-mile fiber optic cable ring connecting Summit County and its 31 city, village and township governments to gigabit-speed internet service and a data center to be operated by the City of Fairlawn. The county will fund the estimated $35 million cost of the fiber ring design and construction with a portion of its federal American Rescue Plan funds and will additionally invest approximately $22 million in General Capital Improvement Funds to pay for the design, construction and operating reserves of the data center. According to county officials, the network initially will provide a high-speed, secure and affordable broadband platform to host each community’s public safety operations, with this portion of the project expected to be complete by 2025. In the second phase of the project, the county will work with local communities to explore the feasibility of expanding Summit Connects through internet service providers to residents, businesses, schools and other interested entities.

Summit County creating broadband network