Metronet will manage fiber in Mishawaka

The City of Mishawaka is willing to go the extra 20-miles to make itself more attractive to high tech businesses.

A 20-mile loop of city owned fiber optic cable is being made available for businesses and organizations to use—through an agreement with St. Joseph Valley Metronet.

“It’s always important to expand the footprint that means then that you’re able to connect more, more organizations can take advantage of this unlimited bandwidth dark fiber optic network,” said Mary Jan Hedman, Executive Director of St. Joe Valley Metronet.

Metronet already manages 65 miles of fiber in South Bend. The Mishawaka agreement makes fiber available in places where it wasn’t before. “Particularly, one of the loops crosses Capital Avenue,” said Mishawaka City Planner Ken Prince. “I think it’s going to help particularly when you’re talking about $1 billion dollar investment form the state, and that's nearing completion.”

While the State of Indiana has spent about $1 billion over the years making Capital a first class corridor, it may take more than new pavement to pave the way for job creation.

“When you're looking at locating your business somewhere and you have easy access to the toll road or the 20 bypass depending on where you're doing business and you add into the cost of business the utilities, your availability of fiber, it all contributes to where you chose to make that decision to do business,” said Prince.

Only now has fiber been made available around Capital Avenue, Home Street, Lincolnway and 12th Street.

“Technology is a critical business asset,” said Hedman. “Every organization is relying more and more on technology.”

Users in Mishawaka could access the services of some mayor global data centers located in South Bend, including Data Realty, the first private company to move into Ignition Park.

“We've seen the competition as a result of Metronet really bring down prices of internet into this area, it was upwards of $125, $150 per meg prior to Metronet, prior to coming into play, and now it can be purchased as low as $7 per meg,” said Hedman.

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