EarthLink completes second phase of Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile project

EarthLink's (Nasdaq: ELNK) Business unit has completed Phase II of the Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile fiber broadband project.

The project was made possible when DeltaCom, which was previously purchased by EarthLink, was awarded a $9.4 million broadband stimulus grant by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP).

With Phase I of the project completed in March, Phase Two of EarthLink's network expansion includes the build out of a new 131-mile diverse fiber optic route from Knoxville, Tenn. to Bristol, Tenn. Already offering SONET Transport Service via its newly launched EarthLink Carrier division, the network includes Points of Presence (POP) in Knoxville, Morristown, Johnson City and Bristol.

When EarthLink completes the final phase of the project in Q3 this year, they will add five new ILEC interconnection points, including Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, Sweetwater and Morristown, Tenn. These interconnection points are located in counties designated as underserved by Connected Tennessee, an independent nonprofit organization that develops and implements effective strategies for technology deployment, use and literacy in Tennessee.

But this network is not just about wholesale services. Having installed the middle mile network, EarthLink Business will offer its growing set of business services to businesses located in these markets.

Overall, the new network in Tennessee when combined with its purchases of Deltacom and One Communications is part of EarthLink's broader strategy to penetrate the competitive business services market.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Bridging the rural telco middle mile divide
EarthLink wraps up phase 1 of East Tenn. middle mile network project
Middle mile providers: Complementary, not competitive
EarthLink wraps up ITC^Deltacom acquisition
ITC^Deltacom expands fiber network, adds new leadership to wholesale team

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