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City of Greenville and MetroNet announce partnership to build new fiber optic network

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 10:40 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:52 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - MetroNet and the City of Greenville have agreed to a partnership that will soon bring MetroNet’s 100% fiber optic internet, TV, and phone services to businesses and residents.

The agreement will see MetroNet invest more than $40 million in the community and bring fiber-to-the-home directly to Greenville residents.

“This announcement is a game-changer for the City of Greenville,” Greenville Mayor P.J. Connelly said. “As our city continues to grow, it is vital that we are able to provide fast, reliable, and affordable fiber optic options. At no time has that been more apparent than during the COVID-19 pandemic as virtual learning and remote work made the need for increased broadband access even more apparent. MetroNet’s high-speed fiber internet will increase technological capabilities for residents and businesses throughout the city and help Greenville thrive for years to come.”

MetroNet, based in Evansville, In., builds state-of-the-art, fiber optic networks connected directly to homes and businesses.

MetroNet plans to begin construction in Greenville in the spring of 2021.

The company plans to have a MetroNet storefront in Greenville to serve as the command center for customer service and sales. Customers will be able to visit the store to view service plans and discuss issues.

“We are excited to be expanding to Greenville, North Carolina, and the opportunities that this means for the community with a 100 percent fiber optic network,” MetroNet President John Cinelli said. “Residents and businesses will be able to experience a future-proofed network and we are proud to move forward together with this market, which is positioned well for growth. We can’t thank the Mayor and the Council enough for the invitation.”

According to Cinelli, MetroNet anticipates the build of their 100 percent fiber optic network to last approximately 24 months.

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Greenville City Council is set to discuss the approval of a new telecommunication services provider to operate in the city.

Tonight at 6 p.m., council members are scheduled to meet to discuss many topics, including the fiber service of Metro Fibernet, LLC or MetroNet. The company intends to construct and operate voice, audio and internet services to Greenville residents and businesses.

If approved, MetroNet would be responsible for installation, maintenance and repair, as well as the cost of the repairs to streets and pavement associated with the construction.

It’s estimated that no more than $500,000 of city resources will be required for the plan review and inspection services.

The Right of Way Agreement listed in the city council’s agenda says “MetroNet plans to invest up to $35,000,000 to construct and operate a fiber-to-the-premises network (‘Fiber Network’).” It also includes that the initial term of the agreement would be 20 years.

MetroNet has deployed FTTP Networks in 90 communities in eight states. The company says it will initially construct a network capable of serving no less than 90% of areas within the city.

MetroNet also says its video service will offer up to 240 channels, including 128 HD channels.

The company says the project would be expected to be completed within two years following the start of physical construction in Greenville.

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