Valparaiso’s Redevelopment Commission has selected a Florida company to install its municipal fiber network infrastructure. Rohl Networks was chosen for the $2.3 million to $2.5 million project. The city is touting the fiber loop as a boon for economic development.
Work could begin as early as next month and be complete by the end of the year. The city says the "backbone" will loop through the city and focus on commercial corridors along Route 49, Route 30 and North Calumet Avenue, providing direct access to Chicago.
Mayor Jon Costas says the project will increase economic development opportunities. "We’re looking forward to being the first city in our region to offer municipal dark fiber, which will make us more competitive in attracting new businesses and jobs."
Economic Development Director Patrick Lyp agrees, adding "this project will further distinguish Valparaiso as a place that can accommodate the specific needs of innovative and technology-based companies. In December, Valparaiso was awarded Google’s eCity designation, in part, because of the expertise of its local businesses to maximize the value of the Internet. There is a tremendous amount of e-commerce conducted by our local entrepreneurs. The Valparaiso municipal fiber project is another tool to support their efforts." Lyp says others that will benefit include hospitals, colleges and high-tech businesses.
A final contract is set to be worked out prior to a March 11 commission meeting.