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EarthLink completes fiber broadband rollout in Eastern Tennessee

Jamie Rigg, @jmerigg
November 14, 2012
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Anyone familiar with the unglamorous circumstances of Elvis Presley's passing might agree he needed a little more fiber in his diet. That would've been the case if 'the King' was of this generation, as the state he called home is pretty well wired these days, and even more so now EarthLink has completed its "Eastern Tennessee Broadband Project." Over 500 miles of fiber optics have been installed in "underserved areas," offering up to 10 Gbps speeds to businesses and institutions, with some 'last mile' providers already claiming their stake. Bon appétit, Tennessee .

[Image credit: Royce DeGrie / Getty Images]

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EarthLink Completes Final Phase of Eastern Tennessee Broadband Project

ATLANTA, GA- November 13, 2012 - EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), a leading IT services and communications provider, today announced the conclusion of its Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project and the completion of a more than 500 mile fiber optic broadband network connecting previously underserved communities across the eastern part of the state. In all, EarthLink deployed 15 Dense Wave Division Multiplexing (DWDM)-capable Points of Presence (POPs) in the state, from which it can provide long-haul DWDM service up to 10 Gigabits, plus metro service in Nashville and Memphis.

EarthLink's Tennessee Broadband project was funded by $9.4 million in federal stimulus by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) to reach communities designated as underserved by Connected Tennessee, an independent non-profit organization that develops and implements effective strategies for technology deployment, use and literacy in Tennessee.

With this new Eastern Tennessee network in place, EarthLink can now offer its full suite of EarthLink Business IT and communications services to businesses and community anchor institutions in these previously underserved areas. EarthLink Carrier will also provide broadband interconnection to other carriers including last mile providers at speeds up to 10Gbps. Signed agreements are already in place between EarthLink and Morristown Fibernet for 1000M of dedicated Internet access and Twin Lakes Telephone Cooperativefor one GigE of IP transport from Cookeville to Huntsville , AL .

Phase One of the network completion, announced in March, 2011, included a 343-mile overbuild of an existing diverse fiber optic route from Nashville to Knoxville, and the addition of a new diverse fiber optic route from Knoxville to Chattanooga. The Phase Two network expansion, completed in June of 2011, included deployment of a fiber optic route from Knoxville to Bristol, Tennessee. Point of Presence (POP) sites along the route include: Knoxville, TN; Morristown, TN; Johnson City, TN; and Bristol, TN. The final Phase Three of the project involved five network interconnection points including Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, Sweetwater and Morristown, TN.

"For this traditionally underserved region of Tennessee, EarthLink's new broadband network will enable businesses and community organizations such as medical providers and schools to better serve their constituencies," said Jim O'Brien, EarthLink Executive Vice President of Infrastructure Engineering and Operations. "Businesses of all sizes, as well as carrier and last mile service providers, will benefit from improved access with broadband speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second. We hope that access to this high-capacity network can serve as an engine for economic growth in the region."

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