Shaker Heights considers increasing fiber-optic network availability

by Chanda Neely | | May 23, 2014

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio –- City officials are in talks about possibly expanding the high-speed fiber-optic network currently available in the Chagrin-Lee corridor to other commercial districts.

Shaker officials believe a fiber network – which offers speeds up to 1,000 times faster than other networks – will draw more businesses to the community.

“Our goal as a city is to bring new development into Shaker Heights,” city Economic Development Director Tania Menesse said. “For some companies, the availability of high speed Internet access could be a reason they decide to move their company across the country from an area where it’s not available.”

City Council earlier this week was set to vote on legislation that would allow OneCommunity – a nonprofit group that manages a fiber-optic network in northern Ohio – access to the city right-of-way for the next 15 years to install and maintain fiber lines. But Law Director William Ondrey Gruber said the item was removed from the agenda, as city officials gather more information.

City official say talks are only in the beginning stages and no final decisions have been made, including a possible cost. But Menesse pointed to the Van Aken district – where a redevelopment project that includes $75 million in new retail, residential and office space is coming up – and the area near the two-story Tower East office building at 20600 Chagrin Blvd. as possible places where the city is considering adding fiber.

OneCommunity offers fiber to government agencies, schools and hospitals at a reasonable cost. It’s the same company that installed fiber in the Chagrin-Lee area last year, creating northern Ohio’s first “fiberhood” – a neighborhood of ultra-fast Internet connections – with Shaker LaunchHouse business accelerator at its core…

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