$40 million project to create 350 mile fiber optic network, microwave wireless network, and regional datacenter to benefit community, anchor institutions, and region’s economic health
WEST BARNSTABLE, MA March 4, 2010 – The non-profit OpenCape Corporation announced today that it was notified by the U.S. Department of Commerce that it has been awarded $32 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) funds to construct a 350 mile fiber optic network, wireless microwave network, and regional data center. Congressman Bill Delahunt made the award announcement at Cape Cod Community College.
The $32 million BTOP grant will be combined with matching funds totaling $8 million from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, RCN Metro Optical Networks, and Barnstable County to construct a comprehensive middle mile network to support the economic, educational, public safety, and governmental needs of the southeast Massachusetts region.
The open access, vendor neutral middle mile network will connect over 60 anchor institutions on Cape Cod and the Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. In addition, OpenCape will build further connections to the Internet in Providence, RI along the South Coast, and to Boston through Plymouth and Brockton. These paths will allow many additional anchor institutions throughout southeast Massachusetts to connect to the network.
OpenCape will serve as an underpinning infrastructure for economic diversification and expansion on Cape Cod. The fiber along the South Coast can also serve as a foundation for additional broadband capacity in that region, helping to provide an economic stimulus in cities such as Fall River and New Bedford where unemployment is nearly 15 percent.
“OpenCape is the product of years of work and collaboration by organizations and individuals across our region,” said OpenCape’s President, Dan Gallagher. “It’s a vital part of the region’s long term growth and competitiveness strategy and we are excited to have assembled all of the necessary funding to immediately begin building the OpenCape network.”
OpenCape estimates that the project will create more than 200 jobs in the equipment, construction and manufacturing sectors, as well as an additional 200 indirect jobs.
OpenCape will immediately bring together the many stake holders who have participated in the development of the concept to focus the region on executing the grant and building the network. “We are going to come together as a region to celebrate a little, but then get right back to work,” said Gallagher.
About OpenCape Corporation
The OpenCape Corporation (www.opencape.com) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. OpenCape Corporation’s purpose is to fulfill the need for a regional communications network on Cape Cod and the Islands to enhance education, research, and economic development, AND provide for an emergency communications network in times of crisis.
About RCN Metro Optical Networks
RCN Metro, http://www.rcnmetro.com, is a premier provider of high-capacity transport services for carriers as well as large and medium-sized businesses. RCN Metro offers a comprehensive suite of services including: Ethernet, SONET, Wavelength, Video Transport, Internet and more. With a network leveraging unique rights-of-way, spanning from Maine to Virginia and out to Chicago, RCN Metro deploys custom solutions to service providers as well as companies in the finance, hospitality, media, government, health care and education industries. RCN Metro is a wholly owned division of RCN Corporation.