FairlawnGig Municipal Utility Connects First Business Customers

  • FairlawnGig
  • Fujitsu
RICHARDSON, TX — FairlawnGig, a municipal fiber optic and carrier-grade wireless network that delivers up to 100 Gbps to enterprises, has connected its first two Fairlawn, Ohio, businesses. FairlawnGig is expected to attract new generations of professionals to the city and Akron-Fairlawn-Bath Township Joint Economic Development District (JEDD). Fujitsu Network Communications is the design-build network integrator and is operating and maintaining the network on behalf of the city.

FairlawnGig differs from many traditional broadband implementations in that it is the only entity within its area offering ubiquitous fiber and wireless coverage to the entire city and JEDD. By design, every service address will have access to a direct fiber connection, or fixed wireless, or standard Wi-Fi. The reliable broadband network is more than 20 times faster than anything previously available in the area.

High-bandwidth Networking Boosts City
While the city of Fairlawn is a small community, its leadership thinks big. The city recognized the critical importance of high-bandwidth networking, as well as its ability to entice young residents who left for college to return and build their professional lives there. And by designing FairlawnGig as an open access network, the multiple service providers leasing connectivity will fund construction and operating costs. In this way Fairlawn has become the first gigabit city in Ohio, a milestone that was reached without new taxes or assessments.

“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.”

Business Customer: RDA Hotel Management Company
With the rollout of FairlawnGig beginning in August, the advantages of broadband are already being realized by area businesses like 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. “We are very proud of our entrepreneurial legacy and soon we’ll be celebrating fifty years, making us the longest-running Hilton franchisee in the country,” said company President Rennick Andreoli. “This honor is testimony to how hard we work to keep ourselves relevant and continually re-invest in our properties to deliver the experience our guests expect with the Hilton brand.” FairlawnGig makes it possible for the company to offer its guests a 733 percent increase in broadband access speeds throughout the hotel — speeds not currently available in most hotels in even the country’s largest cities.

Andreoli continued, “This connectivity is appreciated by all our guests, but millennials tell us it’s the most important service we deliver. Millennials are a growing market and we must be extremely sensitive to their needs; technology being foremost among them, so it’s foremost in our minds. Without question FairlawnGig gives us a local competitive advantage in attracting, retaining, and serving this sizable demographic including our loyal corporate travelers.”

Business Customer: David A. Levy & Associates Architects
David A. Levy & Associates is another Fairlawn business acknowledging the importance of FairlawnGig. Founded in 1982, this full-service architecture firm specializes in retail, restaurant, and mixed-use design and development. Architects and support staff use a virtual desktop interface to continuously access compute-intensive design software, as well as revise and share large files, all of which reside on remote file and application servers in Buffalo, NY. Dependable high-bandwidth connectivity is a must.

The firm’s Business Development Director Neal Levy, a 30-something year old and early adopter of technology, is an enthusiastic supporter who immediately realized the positive impact FairlawnGig would have on the firm and in his home. “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,” said Levy. “Prior to FairlawnGig, reliability was a serious issue and it took several minutes to save, transmit, and open a 50MB 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 ten seconds to open or save a file.”

For more information about the network rollout schedule, please see the updated service map here.

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