Zayo to provide fiber backbone for Chicago's Gigabit broadband project

Zayo Group is partnering with Gigabit Squared, an economic development organization focused on bringing IT-enabled infrastructure to communities, to provide a fiber backbone for the Gigabit Chicago project.

Upon completion, this project will deliver fiber and wireless-based services to residential and businesses in Chicago's Mid-South Side.

Last October, the city won an Illinois Gigabit Communities Challenge award under which the state will invest $2 million to help support the service provider's Gigabit Neighborhood Gateway Program (GNGP).

In the first phase of the project, Gigabit Chicago will provide Gbps speed services to over 4,825 residents, businesses, schools, and hospitals. Later phases of the project could potentially extend the service to almost 210,000 residents who live in over 79,000 households as well as the 10,000 commercial businesses in the area it will serve.

Under the terms of the agreement, Zayo will provide dark fiber, colocation, IP transit, wavelength, and other infrastructure services.

Matt Erickson, president of fiber and infrastructure at Zayo, said in a release that the provider will leverage its existing "metro Chicago fiber network to enable the Gigabit Chicago project," and will work with Gigabit Squared on similar community projects that are in cities where it currently has fiber deployed.

Given the aggressive buildout, Zayo could be a good partner in other U.S. regions, including the Midwest and Northeast, and particularly the Washington, D.C., and Maryland metro areas. In the Northeast, Zayo has expanded its metro fiber footprint organically and through a series of acquisitions of other regional fiber-centric service providers such as FiberGate and Litecast, for example.

For more:
- see the release

Related articles:
Gigabit Squared to bring broadband to Mid-South Chicago communities
Columbia and Univ. of Missouri opt out of Gig.U consortium
Gig.U partners with University of Florida, local utility to build Gigabit-capable network
Gig.U member Case Western Reserve lights up 1 Gbps fiber network
Gigabit Squared, Gig.U to deliver fiber service to 6 communities

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