36Onetworks throws hat into broadband stimulus funding ring

360networks application for federal broadband stimulus funding is perhaps the latest sign of an emerging trend where wholesale carriers can become the helping ‘middle mile' hand for rural service providers. The service provider's approach is similar to fellow wholesale provider Level 3, which last week also submitted an application for broadband stimulus funding to become a ‘middle mile' provider source for rural operators. With its middle mile network project, 360networks also plans to give rural service providers access to its network by creating POPs at amplifier and regeneration points located in underserved markets along its optical backbone.

Through its proposed "middle mile" project, 360networks will access 17 rural markets in addition to a surrounding 10-mile radius along the service provider's existing 1,011-mile optical network route that runs from Chicago, Ill., to New Orleans, La. 360networks said that it has spent the last six months working with various last-mile service providers to craft a service suite that can offer not only connectivity to its fiber backbone, but also turnkey product sets for local cable providers, local exchange companies and wireless operators. In addition 360networks said last-mile service providers in Washington, Idaho and Montana have approached the company about providing similar ‘middle mile' services.

For more:
- here's the press release

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