Unique Partnership Attracts Internet & Wireless Carriers to Provide New Consumer Services in the Region
Lenexa, KS (February16, 2021) –Taylor County in northwestern Wisconsin has selected WANRack, a nationwide provider of fiber-optic Wide-Area Networks (WANs), to build a county-wide fiber optic network that will connect 34 sites throughout the county. In addition, the network will enable new, affordable high-speed Internet connectivity options to residents throughout the rural area, where 30-35 percent of students across the county’s three school districts have no home access to the Internet.
The WANRack network will span the county’s 984 square miles to connect sites – such as courthouses, town and city halls, the public works and sheriff’s departments – with high-speed broadband service. In addition, Internet and wireless service providers will be able to affordably lease any portion of the new fiber in order to provide new high-speed consumer service options to residents.
“Taylor County leadership has been extremely savvy in pursuing this county-wide broadband initiative, and we are seeing great interest from Internet and wireless carriers to leverage the county’s investment,” said Rob Oyler, WANRack Founder and CEO. “This critical infrastructure project will ensure unlimited bandwidth for county needs, while enabling carriers to offer new services to satisfy consumer demand. It’s a win-win that every county should explore.”
With support of county residents, in October 2020 Taylor County board supervisors voted 17-0 to fund a broadband initiative with a $9.5 million bond and issued an RFP. The top objectives were to accelerate economic development and incent service providers to bridge the broadband gap, by enabling competition for affordable connectivity options to as many of the 21,000 county residents as possible. The county selected WANRack in December 2020.
“The WANRack proposal provided the best solution for Taylor County and won by unanimous vote,” said Michael Bub, Taylor County Board Supervisor for the 4th District and Broadband Committee Chair. “The 20 year fixed-rate pricing for unlimited bandwidth eliminates the risk of unanticipated maintenance or other costs, and the WANRack fiber-count – three times more than the other vendors’ – ensures that we cannot outgrow this network.”
This unique partnership is the culmination of a two-year effort by a committee established by the county in 2018. The bond fully covers construction, maintenance and operating costs for this open, “middle-mile” network, and the county has a significant revenue share for projects added to the network. The network will be fully constructed, live, and providing a new source of county revenue before the end of 2021.
WANRack is currently operating in 23 states. The company’s robust fiber-optic networks traverse the nation, from Florida to Washington state, and Arizona to Connecticut. The WANRack executive management team has constructed and delivered more than 200 fiber-optic WANs since 2005.
WANRack provides high-bandwidth, fiber-based communications networks and related services to customers throughout the continental United States. Service offerings include E-Rate-compliant lit fiber, dark fiber, and special construction solutions. Headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, the company provides superior designed fiber networks, which eliminate countless points of failure found in traditional legacy networks. To learn more about WANRack, visit www.wanrack.com.
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