The Chicago Southland Fiber Network, in partnership with Urbancom.net, held the grand opening for the data center and fiber network at the Urbancom.net Tier III+ data center facility in Oak Forest. Welcoming the many municipal, county, state officials and community business leaders in attendance was Urbancom.net CEO Ed Urban. The evening celebrated the significant investment in connectivity infrastructure for the Chicago Southland region and the importance of fiber resources to the efficiency of government, effectiveness of schools, responsiveness of public safety, and the growth of the economy.
Among those in attendance and making remarks at the ceremony was Simona Rollinson, Chief Technology Officer for Cook County. Advocating for continued investment in Public networks and resources, Rollinson indicated that Cook County has invested over $10 M invested in fiber and equipment to provide better services and more reliable network environments. Partnerships like the one between Cook County and the Chicago Southland Region will be a cornerstone of that infrastructure development that will continue to provide benefit for both government and businesses in the region.
Also attending the ceremony was Senior Administrator of the United States Department of Commerce, NTIA Dr. Don Williams. During his comments he highlighted the importance of “broadband connectivity as a part of every economic development package for community success.” He congratulated the parties on this successful public private partnership to bring this network into operation. Williams stressed that the Obama administration was a strong supporter of these community based public fiber networks.
Additionally, CSFN, NFP Board Chairman Tom Mick heralded the launch of the network as a strong step forward for economic development in the region. Rusty Winchel, CSFN Executive Director and NIU consultant who was responsible for overseeing the build out of the network thanked the many government leaders for their support of the project.
Watch a video of the speakers at the grand opening.