MORRISTOWN, TN — EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), a leading IT services and communications provider, announced completion of the Morristown, TN network interconnection point as part of the third and final phase of its Eastern Tennessee Middle Mile Fiber Broadband Project. Four additional broadband network interconnection points will be completed by March 2012 in the Cookeville, Oak Ridge, Cleveland, and Sweetwater communities. These areas have been 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 network in place, EarthLink BusinessTM will begin actively offering its full suite of IT and communications services to Morristown businesses and organizations via its Knoxville sales office.
“With the completion of the Morristown network, EarthLink Business can offer businesses and institutions in the area with a new choice for improved connectivity,” said Jim O’Brien, EarthLink Executive Vice President of Network Services and Customer Operations. “In a traditionally underserved region, providing the means for more effective technology deployment will help enable institutions of all sizes and industries to grow and expand, powered by enhanced broadband access that better meets the needs of their customers and constituencies.”
EarthLink’s Tennessee broadband project was funded by $9.4 million in federal stimulus funding by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP). It comprises a fiber optic network of more than 500 miles in Eastern Tennessee and provides middle mile broadband services to carrier customers, core community anchor institutions including education and healthcare providers, and last mile service providers in speeds up to 10Gbps.
The Phase Two network expansion, completed in June of this year, included deployment of a new 131-mile fiber optic route from Knoxville, Tennessee to Bristol, Tennessee. Point of Presence (POP) sites along the route include: Knoxville, TN; Morristown, TN; Johnson City, TN; and Bristol, TN. Phase I completion, announced in March, 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.