Rocket Fiber is deploying fiber for business and residential use in Detroit, starting with the city's Central Business District and then moving to the city's Midtown neighborhood and then to adjacent areas. The service will launch later this year.
The city of Detroit has been facing a number of challenges recently, including a bankruptcy filing and declining population, but Rocket Fiber is aiming to help revitalize the city. In a recent interview with Crain's Detroit Business, Rocket Fiber co-founder Marc Hudson said that the fiber would "augment many of the entrepreneurial and technological efforts that exist along the Woodward corridor, which is also home to many of the city's largest cultural, medical and educational institutions."
Rocket Fiber is planning to charge $70 per month for its fiber service. The company plans to launch a TV offering at some point, however pricing has yet been provided. Business services such as HD video conferencing are also expected.
To build awareness for its services, Rocket Fiber plans to open an electronics store where the company's services will be demonstrated, according to the Detroit Free Press. There are also plans to make Wi-Fi available in a certain number of public areas.
In June, Network World reported that Rocket Fiber had received "submissions of interest" from more than 80 businesses and 3,000 consumers and plans to reach 32 buildings via 12 miles of fiber by the end of this year.
The publication also reported that Rocket Fiber was using "micro-trenching." This technique involves the laying of conduit that is one inch in diameter or less, buried some 10 inches deep. A Rocket Fiber executive has estimated that this trenching technique costs approximately one-third as much as traditional trenching methods. Verizon used the technique in the New York area in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2013.
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