Evansville, Indiana-based MetroNet on August 25 announced the completion of its citywide, 100% fiber-optic network in Lexington, Kentucky, earning Lexington, with its population of 325,000, the title of largest "Gigabit City" in the U.S., according to the provider. According to a press release, for the last 2.5 years, MetroNet has been laying 4.4 million feet of fiber in neighborhoods across the city. Already, tens of thousands of Lexington-area residents and businesses have signed up for MetroNet's internet service.
Former Mayor Jim Gray set a visionary goal to make Lexington a Gigabit City in 2017; MetroNet answered that call with a proposal to invest up to $100 million, bringing ultrafast internet, television, and telephone services to residents and businesses via fiber cables. The following year, Gray and MetroNet executives officially cut the ribbon to activate Lexington, marking the official start of services and the opening of MetroNet’s retail storefront.
Upon her election, the city's current Mayor Linda Gorton embraced MetroNet’s investment, saying in her inaugural speech that fiber was a key part of her economic-development vision to become a technological hub and to help Lexington companies grow. “A citywide fiber network gives Lexington a competitive advantage, as we work to attract and grow jobs,” Gorton said. “MetroNet’s enormous investment in our city is an investment in a brighter future for our citizens.”
MetroNet now serves tens of thousands of residential and business customers in Lexington, and has expanded construction to neighboring communities in Nicholasville, Versailles, and farther south to Richmond, Kentucky.
“The cooperation of the City of Lexington and council members was a critical component for success as we built out a complex fiber network in the area. In addition to the vision and support of both mayors Gray and Gorton, Aldona Valicenti, Chief Information Officer for the City of Lexington, and Scott Shapiro, former Chief Innovation Officer for the City of Lexington, are owed recognition for their leadership in bringing this vision to life,” stated John Cinelli, President of MetroNet.
Per a MetroNet statement:
Though nearly all of MetroNet’s construction work is finished in Lexington, it will remain actively at work as the city continues to grow and develop, extending its fiber network in new neighborhoods as they arise. MetroNet also maintains a permanent residence at its storefront on West Tiverton Way, and currently employs more than 90 Lexington-based associates in departments such as sales, marketing, and customer service for current and prospective customers. MetroNet is also actively involved in the community through the Metro C.A.T.S. program, a collaboration with the City of Lexington, the University of Kentucky, and Lexington Traditional Magnet School, providing gigabit internet service, computers and technology classes for kids at the Charles Young Community Center in Lexington’s East End neighborhood.
MetroNet's Cinelli concluded, “We could not be happier to have a home in such a vibrant, growing city, and we are thrilled to mark this occasion and complete construction for residents and businesses to enjoy fast, reliable fiber-optic internet, phone and TV services. Our work does not stop here; we will still be actively involved in laying more fiber in the community as the City of Lexington continues to grow and develop.”
For more information, visit www.MetroNetinc.com.