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Press Release -- April 7th, 2022
Source: wanrack


On April 4, 2022, WANRack was awarded a Smart 50 Award from the Smart Cities Connect organization and foundation, recognizing the 50 most transformative smart projects in 2022. The Smart 50 awards annually recognize global smart cities projects, honoring the most innovative and influential work. WANRack was given this award based on their recent middle-mile fiber project in Taylor County, Wisconsin.

Taylor County selected WANRack, a nationwide provider of fiber-optic Wide-Area Networks (WANs), to build them a countywide 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.

With the support of the Taylor County residents, in October 2020, their 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.

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.

WANRack is pleased to be recognized for the 2022 Smart Cities Connect Smart 50 Award.

WANRack specializes in turn-key middle mile and last mile fiber infrastructure solutions for K-12 school districts, counties, municipalities, wireless carriers, and private enterprises throughout the United States. Headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, WANRack’s executive management team has been providing fiber solutions since 2005. WANRack is privately owned and backed by CBRE, one of the largest infrastructure funds in the world.
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