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Local

‘Gigabyte city’: Elburn businesses to get fiber connectivity

Village president says Elburn will be a 'gigabyte city'

Trustee Bill Grabarek makes a point during the Elburn Village Board meeting on Jan. 6.
Trustee Bill Grabarek makes a point during the Elburn Village Board meeting on Jan. 6.

ELBURN – The Midwest’s business-only fiber network Everstream will run fiber along Route 47 and Route 38 through Elburn this year, offering their services to businesses along and within a half-mile on either side of both routes.

“This will make us a gigabyte city,” Village President Jeff Walter said.

Walter, who together with Village Administrator John Nevenhoven and representatives of Elburn’s Economic Development Commission, met with Everstream representatives Jan. 6. Walter said Elburn will be able to highlight this connectivity in marketing the village as a desirable place to do business, especially for companies that require the broader bandwidth.

“We’ll be able to market that on our website and other places,” he said. “This is a really good thing for us.  With the train station, the new on-ramps at Interstate 88 and with fiber coming right through town, this will be a good way for us to attract new businesses.”

According to its website, Everstream is growing and investing in communities across the Midwest.

“We’re rolling out plans to build metro fiber in cities like Columbus, Milwaukee, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Chicago, among others,” the website states.

A map showing Everstream’s plans for network expansion in the Chicago area includes 1,248 fiber miles stretching west to Rockford, south to Joliet and the surrounding area, and north to Harvard and beyond, with Routes 47 and 38 two of its longest routes.

Walter said Everstream has offered Elburn assistance from its marketing department to help the village highlight the advantages the network will provide to businesses.

During the Committee of the Whole meeting, the board discussed adding a staff position, either full or part time, to serve as director for the village’s Economic Development Corporation.

Walter said that while there has been “good interest” from Elburn’s business community in bringing additional business to town, the problem is that the members of the ECDC all have jobs and this kind of effort is “hard to do with volunteers.”

The board agreed to start out with a part-time position.

“I just think we have to,” Walter said. “With everything that’s happening around us, and now with the fiber coming, and the opportunity to market that, we’re just getting to the point where it’s time.”

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