Fairlawn, Ohio to Launch FairlawnGig Municipal Broadband Utility

  • FairlawnGig
FAIRLAWN, OH — Fairlawn Mayor William J. Roth, Jr. announced his intention to initiate a municipal fiber optic and carrier grade Wi-Fi project. The project, known as FairlawnGig, will be a municipal broadband utility that will serve all the residents and businesses within the city of Fairlawn and the Akron/Fairlawn/Bath Township JEDD. The proposed broadband utility will address two major needs for broadband connectivity: a high-speed fiber optic service to every user in the coverage area, and a city-wide, carrier grade Wi-Fi network. The Mayor said, “Enhanced broadband services and fiber optic availability will strengthen and improve the delivery of police, fire and other vital municipal services and provide the city with access to cutting edge informational technology.”

Gigabit broadband connectivity has been Mayor Roth’s vision from the start. “To be competitive in a global economy and attract new businesses and young professionals to our city, Internet access at a gigabit per second is imperative. With FairlawnGig, we are investing in the last-mile infrastructure that will make gigabit service possible. Our vision is for an open network that will be available to any qualified service provider who may want to offer their services through the system.”

Public Private Partnership
The city plans to create a public private partnership to design, build, operate, maintain, and finance the FairlawnGig project. “Financing the construction of the network with private money will allow us to build the network much more quickly than we could on our own,” said Mayor Roth. “Working with private partners who are experts in telecommunications will assure that FairlawnGig is a state-of-the-art network that is built on time and on budget. The city of Fairlawn plans to provide right-of-way access and other real estate assets to expedite the construction process.”

Partner Selection Process
In order to attract a qualified private sector partners for this project, the Mayor is asking City Council to authorize the issuance of a Request for Proposals for FairlawnGig. Mayor Roth stated, “We want to select a qualified and responsible partner by this year and begin construction as soon as possible. The construction of the entire fiber network may take up to five years. However, we are planning to make comprehensive wireless coverage available for Fairlawn within one year of construction start, and at that point, offer competitive broadband services anywhere in Fairlawn.”

The goal is for FairlawnGig to offer competitive fixed residential and business broadband services with speeds of 30 Mbps up and 30 Mbps down, and unique mobile Wi-Fi services with high-speed secure connections of 20 Mbps to smartphones and tablets all over Fairlawn. A FairlawnGig guest network is also expected that could allow visitors to Fairlawn free access to the internet of 5 Mbps for limited sessions. When the fiber network is available, services up to 1 Gbps will be possible for homes and businesses in Fairlawn and the JEDD.


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