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Politics & Government

New fiber optic connection to boost internet connectivity in Georgetown

Georgetown_fibeer_ring.jpg

Sussex County is about to get a boost in internet connectivity.

Over the next 6 months, a new high speed fiber optic ring will be built underneath Georgetown, increasing connection speeds 100 times. Four county facilities, including government offices and the airport, will benefit immediately from improved connection.

The fiber optic ring will be a considerable improvement on the single line feed that now feeds Sussex County facilities. The two-way system can redirect the data if service is interrupted along the line.

Broad Valley Micro Fiber Networks, a Virginia-based company the Sussex County Council a five-year contract to build and maintain the line. CEO Peter Aquino says fiber loops can be found in many metro areas.

“When you go into rural areas, the isn’t a lot of infrastructure like this,” said Aquino. “So it’s really leapfrogging [Sussex County] into the future.”

Delaware already has the highest connection speeds in the country, with an average of 17.4 megabits per second, but most of these high speeds exist north of Dover. Aquino says the company is enthusiastic about improving internet speeds for Delaware’s least connected county.

“When you go south of New Castle to parts of Kent and certainly Sussex County, they’re left behind,” said Aquino. “Two-thirds of the land mass of the state, which is rural by definition have inferior broadband.”

Last year, Governor Markell (D-Delaware) announced a new initiative to expand broadband connection in Sussex, which included the construction a fiber optic cable line from Middletown to Georgetown.

Sussex County will pay Broad Valley $100,000 a year for the service and may potentially lease the service to businesses and residents nearby.