Fairlawn Gig, the municipal open access broadband fiber to the premises (FTTP) and wireless network in Fairlawn, OH, has connected its first two businesses to the network. Fujitsu Network Communications, the project's design-build network integrator that also operates and maintains the FTTP and wireless network infrastructure, says Fairlawn is the first gigabit city in the state.
FairlawnGig, which will support data rates from 1 Gbps up to 100 Gbps, serves both Fairlawn as well as the Akron-Fairlawn-Bath Township Joint Economic Development District (JEDD). The city began looking for development partners in early 2015, and began rolling out the necessary infrastructure in August after announcing in April the selection of Fujitsu to assist with the project (see "Fairlawn, OH, looking for gigabit broadband partners" and "Fairlawn, OH, to start FairlawnGig gigabit broadband project"). Plans call for the network to be able to deliver direct access to either fiber, fixed wireless, or standard Wi-Fi. The project organizers expect the revenue derived from operators leasing capacity on the network to offset the network deployment costs. For this reason, the city did not raise taxes or approve an assessment to fund the build.
"Our residents and particularly our businesses have been starving for this level of connectivity," said Ernie Staten, deputy director of Public Service for the City of Fairlawn. "With Fujitsu, we're offering the Fairlawn community a broadband experience that's second-to-none nationally. It's not only allowing our businesses to advance their operations, but we expect it will also attract entrepreneurs – many of whose businesses depend on broadband – to Fairlawn."
The first two announced customers are RDA Hotel Management Company, which owns and operates Hilton and DoubleTree hotels as well as a 100,000 square foot office building on a 12-acre campus, and David A. Levy & Associates, an architectural firm. For RDA, the new connectivity has enabled a 733% increase in broadband access speeds throughout the local hotel, according to Fujitsu.
"FairlawnGig has greatly increased our productivity and our team's overall satisfaction with our IT infrastructure. While we move vast amounts of data to and from remote servers, FairlawnGig's always-on, high-bandwidth connection is so fast that our staff experience the same level of performance as they'd have with on-site servers," added Neal Levy, business development director at David A. Levy & Associates. "Prior to FairlawnGig, reliability was a serious issue and it took several minutes to save, transmit, and open a 50-MB file. Plus, our team couldn't work simultaneously in an AutoCAD file while it was auto saving or the file would freeze. Now it takes less than 10 seconds to open or save a file."
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