Csfn & Urbancom.Net Providing 10 Gbps Fiber Optic Connections to Commercial Users

The Chicago Southland Fiber Network and Urbancom.net the network operator executes long term agreement to provide 10 Gbps ultra-high speed fiber optic data connection to the Lanco Group of Companies.

CSFN and Urbancom.net will be providing a ultra-high speed 10 Gbps fiber optic connection to connect multiple facilities of the Lanco Group of Companies. The Lanco World Headquarters in Homewood IL, the MiJack Products Headquarters in Hazel Crest IL and the companies disaster recovery data center in Oak Brook IL will be interconnected on this fiber connection providing a dedicated 10 Gbps private network to the company. Construction on the link has been completed and the customer is expected to be operational on the new network by August 15, 2016.

The 10 Gbps connection one of the highest speed available to commercial users puts Lanco and MiJack at the forefront of ultra-high speed connectivity.

The 10 Gbps connection is capable of transmitting 10,000 Mbps this would allow an entire DVD movie can be transferred in about 3 seconds. Currently, Google Fiber in the pilot markets where it is deployed can only offer customers 1 Gbps service. The CSFN network is offering commercial speeds which are 10 times faster that Google Fiber and 1000 times faster than the average US home internet connection. This rates the CSFN network as one of the most robust fiber networks in the country.

About CSFN: South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association (SSMMA), Cook County, and Urbancom.net are partnered to provide high-speed fiber optic infrastructure to the Chicago-Southland communities. With vast economy potential in logistics, transportation and green manufacturing, high-speed fiber optics enables communities to thrive in the global economy. The network connected with multiple multi-homed 10 Gbps feeds provides the Chicago South Suburbs with a ultra-high speed backbone to the largest internet connection point in the country located in Chicago IL at 350 E Cermak, and redundant fiber connections to other major Internet points of presence.

About Lanco & MiJack: Mi-Jack® Products is the manufacturer of special component machinery and solutions for the Industrial and Intermodal industries worldwide. Mi-Jack®, with machines on six of seven continents, is globally recognized for their productive machines, innovative solutions and unsurpassed service. Mi-Jack® is a part of the Lanco Group of Companies. Each of the companies within the Lanco Group has a strong local presence, yet can quickly leverage the global resources of Lanco. As of 2013, the Lanco Group of Companies now has a newly constructed World Headquarters located in Homewood, IL, just a short drive from Mi-Jack® Products main office in Hazel Crest, IL.

About Urbancom.net: Urbancom.net is a locally owned, privately held group of companies which has been providing broadband internet services to Chicago’s southern, southwestern, and western suburbs since 1997.

Urbancom.net currently maintains and operates its own equipment on almost two dozen transmission sites. We cover a substantial portion of Cook County, Will County, DuPage County, Kane County and Winnebago counties in Illinois, delivering fixed microwave wireless internet access to businesses, governmental agencies, school districts, public colleges, home based offices, and residential customers. Our business customers range from small one person companies to multi-national fortune 100 companies. Our customers do have one thing in common – they all desire the very best service and reliability. We also design, build and manage private microwave networks for government and educational institutions throughout other areas of Illinois and across the country. We provide continuously monitored premium bandwidth connected to Tier 1 providers, not the oversubscribed Tier 3 connections sold by others

Urbancom.net also operates the newly constructed Chicago Southland Fiber Network. This true public private partnership between Urbancom.net, CSFN, and the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association with construction funded by the State of Illinois Build Illinois Jobs Program, Cook County and Urbancom.net provides a state of the art ultra-high speed fiber optic backbone in the Chicago South Suburbs. The investment by the parties of over $19 million allows Urbancom.net to operate a Tier III+ data center for colocation of servers and operate the fiber optic network which provides redundant dual homes connections to the main backbone of the Internet.

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Tinley Park convention center brings gigabit internet to facilities

To better support the data needs of Convention Center clients, the Tinley Park Convention Center has upgraded their data service to 1 Gigabit using the Chicago Southland Fiber Network and Urbancom.net ISP services.  The increased data capacity will enable the Convention Center to fully meet the data demands of attendees and the many mobile devices they rely on for both business continuity and personal communications.  The bandwidth provided by the fiber network will easily scale as data demands increase, allowing effective use of the infrastructure and technology provided by the CSFN.

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Daily Southtown: Fiber Network feeds the need for speed

By Mike Nolan
Daily Southtown

In a room formerly occupied by a pharmacy in Oak Forest, steel-reinforced walls protect sensitive computer equipment that manages data carried on the new Chicago Southland Fiber Network.

Intended to offer high-speed Internet access to municipal governments, schools and businesses in the south suburbs, the fiber optic network also presents a potential economic development tool for the region.

While it’s not something residential customers can tap into, the network could provide a boost in communities where high-speed broadband isn’t readily available or is financially out of the reach of businesses.

That void was putting parts of the region at a disadvantage in wooing new business to the area, Ed Urban, president and chief executive of Urban Communications, said. His Oak Forest company, where the network data center is located, was hired to operate the network by a nonprofit that was created by
the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association to oversee it.

Completion of the network “puts the south suburbs on the high-speed data map,” said Urban, whose company provides broadband Internet and wireless broadband services.

Broadband disparities

So far, Monee, Governors State University, South Suburban College, the Tinley Park Convention Center, Oak Forest Hospital and the Markham courthouse are using the network, but many other area communities, schools and businesses have expressed interest, according to Urban and Ed Paesel, executive director of the mayors group.

Work on the network, which comprises about 70 miles of fiber optic cable, began in 2012, and GSU was the first to go live in February of this year.

Funded in part with$6.1 million in state grant money, the network grew out of a 2009 study by Paesel’s group and Northern Illinois University that  found disparities in access to high-speed Internet. Suburbs clustered near Interstate 57 were “particularly underserved,” Paesel said. Depending on the community, high-speed broadband “either wasn’t available or it was very expensive,” he said.

From an economic development standpoint, broadband service “is as important a part of infrastructure as water, sewer and roads,” Paesel said.

‘Controlled rollout’

Urban’s company recently had 150 people attend a formal unveiling of the network and tours of the data center where traffic on it is managed. It was also an opportunity to sell other potential users on the network’s benefits, and Paesel,who is vice chairman of the network’s board of directors, said “a lot of one-on-one meetings” are planned with community officials, schools and business owners.

He said an “old-fashioned marketing campaign” is underway to pitch to potential customers, but Urban said the plan isn’t to sign up a bunch of customers in a short period of time.

“We wanted to do this in a controlled rollout” so as not to bite off more than they could chew and wind up having delays in connecting them to the network, he said.

The Tinley Park Convention Center is in the implementation phase of a one-gigabit connection to the new network, which will enhance broadband services, said Daniel Fitzgerald, director of sales and marketing for the center and adjacent Holiday Inn.

Investment in community

Urban said his company spent $3 million on its own to convert space in its building for the network’s data center, using a combination of available cash and bank loans. He said he hopes the money will be recouped from revenues generated as more network customers come online.

He punches in a code and places his hand on a biometric palm scanner to get into the room, and once inside points out safeguards meant to ensure the expensive equipment keeps running no matter what. Fire sensors under the floor and above the ceiling are tied to a suppression system that would fill the room with an inert gas, rather than water, to snuff the flames.

Two ComEd power lines — each coming into the building from a different direction should a power outage affect one of them— feed into an array of batteries that supply a steady flow of 480 volts to the computer equipment, avoiding possible dips or surges in current. Should both power lines fail, a natural gas generator would take over, and Urban said a second generator will be installed.“It’s a long-term investment. I view it as an investment in the community,” Urban said.

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Village of Dixmoor to be connected to the CSFN Gigabit Network

Village of Dixmoor approves connection to CSFN and upgraded to VoIP phone service. The Village of Dixmoor will be implementing a new phone system (VoIP) to replace their aging telephone and data networks and lower the cost of providing those services. Using the Chicago Southland Fiber Network, Dixmoor will install a VoIP system hosted by Urbancom.net providing new phones in both the Municipal Building and the Municipal Annex facility and increasing the data bandwidth to support both the phone and computer networks. The new communications systems will lower the overall cost to provide the services while significantly increasing the bandwidth and capability of each network.

Connection to the high Speed CSFN Gigabit Network will provide the Village not only substantially faster access to the internet compared to their existing service but the use of cloud services will allow them to replace their old failing phone system with a new hosted Cisco™ VoIP phone system provided by the network operator Urbancom.net. That system hosted in the Urbancom.net data centers allows the Village to adopt new technology replacing their old legacy phone system with new technology without the necessity of a huge capital expenditure to purchase a complete back end PBX.

This saves the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in capital dollars and provides a more robust and effective system. Over a five year period they will realize a nearly 40% annual savings in telecommunications costs for the Dixmoor taxpayers.

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The Official Grand Opening for the CSFN and Urbancom Tier III+ datacenter

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.

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South Suburban College goes live with gigabit Internet

South Suburban College has migrated their Illinois Century Network and primary Internet access to the CSFN fiber network.  Using CSFN fiber and network resources, South Suburban College has primary data connectivity to ICN access ports at Equinix in Chicago, and alternate transport paths through Latisys in the event of a fiber cut or network failure.

The Gigabit Ethernet service will provide for the near term data connectivity needs of the College and to several primary and secondary schools supported by SSC.  As more data bandwidth is required by the College, the fiber network will easily scale to meet that increased need.  This BGP peered network with ICN and Urbancom.net provides multiple gigabit capacity to the College to meet their ever growing need for internet access.

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Press Release: Chicago Southland Fiber Network launch and grand opening

Linda McCants Pendleton,
South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association

EAST HAZEL CREST, IL (June 1, 2015)—One by one, towns, schools, libraries and courthouses in the south suburbs along I-57 are cashing-in on the public-private partnership and investment made in the Chicago Southland Fiber Network Project to bring affordable high-speed fiber optic broadband to the region.

This network is capable of providing multiple 10 Gbps internet connections to over 30 distribution points in the Chicago South Suburbs.

The Village of Monee is one of the first Municipalities to take advantage of the new network by converting their antiquated and failing phone system into a new state of the art  Internet Protocol (IP) phone system hosted in the Urbancom Tier III+ Data Center in Oak Forest, at the head-end of the network.  The village takes advantage of the gigabit network to provide high speed communications and an overall cost savings for the Village and its taxpayers. Monee Mayor Jay Farquhar said that their goal in using this new infrastructure is to build out a municipal network to more cost efficiently deliver better services to their taxpayers.

“Our substantial private sector investment to build out of the Tier III+ Data Center to support this network allows us to move the municipal voice PBX (Private Branch Exchange) into the cloud in a secure and redundant facility for a more cost effective operation and management,” said Urban Communications CEO Ed Urban.

The Village of Dixmoor will be the next community to benefit by this technology.

They are in the process of implementing the same solution as Monee which will replace their 1970s vintage phone system and provide a gigabit fiber optic connection to the village.

“The proposal being adopted by Dixmoor will result in nearly a 38 percent savings on their annual telephone and Internet costs and provide a substantial increase in Internet bandwidth for the village while providing state-of-the-art VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology,” Urban said.

The CSFN is managed and operated by Urbancom.net in cooperation the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association. It provides a high speed Gigabit Fiber Optic Network that serves the Chicago South Suburbs. The network initially constructed with State of Illinois “Illinois Jobs Now” funds it is a state-of-the-art carrier Ethernet fiber optic network.   As a public-private partnership Urban Communications invested nearly $3 million into the data center which is the head-end of the distribution network that provides ultra-high speed redundant connections to the nation’s Internet backbone.

The project is noteworthy because from start-to-finish SSMMA and Northern Illinois University worked with municipal representatives to identify a major problem that impacted education and economic development in the region: a lack of affordable high-speed broadband fiber. They then worked with government and transportation officials as well as private investors to address this problem with the Southland’s very own fiber optic network, the CSFN.

Other CSFN projects thus far have included the Village of Hazel Crest, the Markham Cook County Court House, Tinley Park Convention Center, Oak Forest Health Center, SouthCom Combined Dispatch, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association offices and more.

The gigabit service being provided to the Tinley Park Convention Center will allow that facility to compete for trade shows and events where ultra-high speed connectivity is a requirement.  The scalability of the product will allow the throttle up from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps speed if the event would require those speeds.  This places the center as having one of the highest access speeds of any similar venue across the nation.

On June 4 at 5 p.m., the CSFN will officially hang up its open-for-business sign at a grand opening event and tour of its brand new $3 million data center facility, Urbancom.net Tier III+ Data Center, at 5320 W 159TH Street, in Oak Forest, IL. The initiative has captured national attention and will be featuring special guest Don C.Williams, Ph.D. from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

Dr. Williams is a senior specialist for broadband development for President Barack Obama’s new BroadbandUSA initiative. Prior to NTIA, Dr. Williams was chief operating officer and director of research for Rice Williams Associates, a telecommunications consulting firm serving more than 175 client cities, counties and state governments.

The network connects governmental buildings, colleges, hospitals, libraries, schools and commercial enterprise customers to the high speed information super-highway at the speed of light. Network access capacity to each customer of up to 10 Gbps with a 99.999 percent uptime SLA (service-level agreement) is available to network subscribers. In addition, this fiber technology allows the Southland to be at the forefront by providing a high speed telecommunications infrastructure for green manufacturing, cargo-oriented development and logistics. The economic benefit of high speed fiber connections will allow municipalities to attract new and vibrant businesses to the region and provide access to high paying jobs for residents. This network allows our communities and businesses to successfully compete in the global economy.

CSFN will be serving the Chicago Southland with:

  • Ultra High Speed Fiber Optics
  • Gigabit & Multi-gig Fiber Connectivity
  • Redundant Peering Connectivity
  • Scalable Commercial Internet Access
  • Point-to-point Bandwidth Services
  • Disaster Recovery & Cloud Computing
  • Carrier Backhaul Connectivity
  • Tier III+ Data Center Solutions
  • VoIP & Managed Voice Service Solutions

For more information, please visit www.csfn.us

CSFN Grand Opening & Launch
June 4, 2015, 5-7:30 p.m.
Urbancom.Net Data Center
5320 W 159TH Street.
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Click here for a flyer.

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The Village of Monee connects to the CSFN Gigabit Network

The Village of Monee has entered a new era by connecting to the CSFN Gigabit Network.  The new high speed fiber optic connection provides a low latency fiber optic connection to the internet and access to cloud services.  Included in the cloud services is a new hosted Cisco™ VoIP phone system provided by the network operator Urbancom.net.  That system hosted in the Urbancom.net Tier III+ data center allows the Village to adopt new technology replacing their old legacy phone system with new technology without the necessity of a huge capital expenditure to purchase a complete back end PBX.  This saves the taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars in capital dollars and provides a more robust and effective system.

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Cook County begins testing

Cook County has accepted the testing and as-built documentation for the fiber Indefeasible Right of Use for Oak Forest Hospital and Markham Courthouse. The dark fiber assets will be incorporated in the Cook County Bureau of Technology to support County administrative needs, healthcare and medical records transport, and critical data applications for Homeland Security.

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South Suburban College goes live

South Suburban College has begun providing data interconnect and voice services (VoIP) across the CSFN fiber network, linking the central campus in South Holland with the remoted campus facility in Oak Forest.  As a component of providing enhanced communications services, SSC leased fiber from CSFN and has turned up the communications equipment providing the primary link.

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