GATEWay Public Fiber Set to Finish Construction in Ohio By Summer

In Ohio’s Miami Valley, the final phase of construction for one of the country’s first multi-jurisdictional networks, the GATEWay Public Fiber Network, is underway. 

The final network will connect the cities of Centerville, Kettering, Miamisburg, Moraine, Oakwood, Springboro and West Carrollton with more than 40 miles of fiber, with the resulting infrastructure bringing increased bandwidth, speed, and capacity at an affordable price to the local governments, schools, nonprofits and public safety facilities of seven communities under the Miami Valley Communications Council (MVCC).

Funding the Final Strands

Independents Fiber Network (IFN) has agreed to fund Phase II of the project with $1.8 million, bringing the total cost to just over $3 million. IFN currently owns some of the fiber connecting Springboro and Miamisburg, operating as a middle-mile provider over its 2,000 route-mile network throughout 31 Ohio counties.

“The unique public-private partnership with IFN made it possible for member communities to complete this project without any additional investment of taxpayer dollars,” Leanne Nash, MVCC Board Chair and West Carrollton City Council member told the Dayton Daily News. " At the end of the project, MVCC and IFN will equally split the available fiber and conduit assets which can then be sold or leased to interested technology providers.”

Robert Shema, CEO of IFN, told the Dayton Daily News that the partnership is expected to provide a revenue share to the municipalities and up to 100 gigabit Internet service to local businesses in participating communities.

The Miami Valley Educational Computer Association (MVECA) - another partner in the network bringing fiber infrastructure and a relationship with the state’s public schools - was chosen to build, maintain, and operate the network while MVCC conducts marketing and leads negotiating agreements with third parties.

Years in the Making

Phase I of the 10-gigabit, 44-mile backbone consisted of utilizing existing MVECA fiber, existing routes from IFN and other private third-party providers, and building out new construction of just over 19 miles of conduit and fiber. Phase II will primarily be focused on upgrading the capacity of existing routes with more fiber, as well as laying additional conduit. 

MVCC has been working toward this project for eight years, starting in 2013 with a feasibility study of the cities of Kettering, Centerville, and Oakwood’s institutional fiber networks, seeing if they could all connect. The network and coalition ended up snowballing to eventually include MVEC and span seven different cities.

In February 2020 the cities were recognized internationally for the network, winning the Smart 50 Award which recognizes the most transformative, innovative and influential "Smart City" projects each year from a dozen countries around the world.  

The network will save taxpayers money, enhance public safety, and connect residents with e-services. Phase II is expected to be completed by the end of this summer.