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February 06, 2014

OnLight Aurora Commences Fiber Optic Connectivity for Multi-tenant Business Buildings in Downtown Aurora



By Daniel Brecht
Contributing Writer



This week, the Beacon-News, a Chicago publication owned by Sun-Times Media Holdings, LLC, reported on its website that the city of Aurora, in the State of Illinois, is in the midst of connecting its first multi-tenant business building to the city’s fiber network via a link provided by the non-profit OnLight Aurora; this is the organization which has been tasked with connecting the city’s fiber optic network to community institutions.

The plan is to provide a fiber network to existing and future tenants, for the first time; access to this technology is thought to be what is needed to succeed in today’s global business environment while meeting the needs of a growing and diverse population.

By capitalizing on Aurora’s Fiber Optic Network across the city, residents will experience better traffic and a boost in efficiencies in operations, said Peter Lynch, Director and President of Onlight Aurora.

The funds utilized come from an approved 20-year fiber lease and from financial support that came from the Aurora City Council. The agreement with OnLight Aurora included the lease of fiber technology throughout the City of Aurora and the connection of West Aurora buildings. The aim is to offer a direct fiber connection opportunity for downtown building tenants.

This opportunity for buildings in downtown Aurora to gain a direct connection for their technology needs, gives residents the capacity to expand their businesses and advance economic development, now and in the future, said Alderman Rick Mervine, 8th Ward, who serves on the OnLight Aurora Board of Directors.

OnLight Aurora officials affirm that “the old Metropolitan Business Building at Stolp Avenue and Downer Place has now been connected to the network.” The present day has OnLight carrying out other lateral connections to the network; for instance, the building which houses River's Edge Café, among other tenants in downtown Aurora, is undergoing fiber optic connectivity, stated Dan Hites, owner of the River's Edge Café and Aurora Downtown Board member.

The availability of fiber connections will likely attract companies to make the move in the area to be connected to the city’s fiber ring. This already happened, in fact, in the case of JJX Packaging, a packaging and design firm that has decided to locate its startup offices in downtown area in part because of the access to the fiber optic network. The company, in fact, needs to keep in close contacts with other manufacturers, including the Chinese companies that provide the packaging it uses for its business.

According the recent Beacon-News article, OnLight Aurora’s undertaking in connecting tenant buildings to the city’s dark fiber network ring is only beginning; the plan is to expand its technology infrastructure to reach more residents so they too can gain access to high-speed connections and use the Aurora's bandwidth and Internet.

The new fiber optic connections are sure to set downtown Aurora apart from other downtowns across the state, Hites said and, according to Mervine “in the coming years, the network will act as a significant economic development driver in the city.”




Edited by Cassandra Tucker
 
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