2016 Leaders Summit Rockets Kane County Into Digital Age

2016 Leaders Summit Rockets Kane County Into Digital Age

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Kane County took a brave step into the digital age Friday during the 2016 Kane County Leaders Summit at the Q Center in St. Charles.

The summit brought together a number of powerhouse speakers and panelists, but the key piece of information might have been the formal unveiling of Kane County’s 47 miles of fiber optic cable. And the one website address you need is this:

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 11.08.59 AMfiber.countyofkane.org/

Click on that link and go there now. If you are a member of a government organization, a non-profit organization or a business, you are going to need two things to be a success in the near and longterm future: bandwidth and redundancy. And you can get help doing that by visiting that website, by emailing fiberinfo@co.kane.il.us or by calling 630-762-2060. A representative of the county’s IT Department will help you connect with the resources you need.

“Imagine if you built a new subdivision and you said, ‘We have everything you need except electricity.’ That’s what you’re saying if you don’t have this type of service,” said Michael Burke, the keynote speaker who showcased the fiber-optic innovations that have transformed Kansas City to one of the top digital cities in America.

The cable network is infrastructure Kane County built along with its transportation system — and it has capacity far beyond what Kane County needs. By connecting to that network, your business or school district or library district can save thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Three examples are below.


Schools: Geneva School District 304

The school district was looking for an Internet provider for a number of reasons, but one was the extra bandwidth needed for the new PARCC testing. District 304 was looking to double its 500 megabyte bandwidth, and its current rates were $9.14 per megabyte — a cost of about $54,900 a year.

By connecting with a service provider through the Kane County network, School District 304 was able to land 1,000 megabyte service at a cost of $24,000 a year — a saving of $30,900 a year.

Business: Feed Fiber to the Home

A business looking to Feed Fiber to the Home was paying $7 per megabyte and was seeking 1 gigabyte or greater service at a lower rate. The business was paying $84,000 a year for that service.

A Kane County partner was able to use the fiber-optic cable network to offer 1,000 megabyte service for $48,000 a year — a saving of $36,000 a year.

Government: Tollway Connection

A unit of government was looking to connect to the I-88 tollway fiber network and was working with the Illinois Department of Transportation to add 11 miles of fiber at a total cost of $880,000. The price per year for the additional capacity would have been $44,000 a year.

Through a partnership, Kane County was able to provide a 20-year lease allowing the use of 11 miles of fiber for $170,000 — a saving of $610,000. The price per year for the unit of government was $8,500 a year — a saving of $35,500 a year.

What You Missed

Kane County IT Director Roger Fahnestock explained the economic and technological benefits of the Kane County network and led a panel discussion of users and service providers.

Toni Preckwinkle, president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, praised Kane County for its leadership in transportation and fiber optic cable innovations and talked about what the power of the seven-county regional partnership can do for citizens.

“The strongest regions in the country have the least inequality,” she said.

Sparkler Awards

The winners of the 2016 Sparkler Awards were Troy Mertz, of The Conservancy, with the village of Gilberts in the category of innovation, the Lao American Organization of Elgin in the category of partnership and the Kane County Cougars in the category of business.

Kane County Connects will follow up with additional stories on the winners and the nominees.