Smithville-operated “heavy infrastructure” offers considerable economic development advantage to attract Big Data- and IOT-centric industries.
JASPER (Indiana) – Smithville Fiber made a unique decision to design and build a 100-gigabit core network node in Dubois County as part of its $15 million fiber build in Jasper, according to Paul Quick, Smithville president. The outcome of that decision to build the high-capacity core node gives Jasper and the county a “major strategic advantage in attracting Big Data-related industry in an economic development outreach,” Quick said.
Customer access to these core transport nodes is usually found only in larger urban areas such as Louisville and Indianapolis, said Jason Dauby, Smithville Chief Technology Officer (CTO). “Because of the cost, companies don’t typically locate core nodes with port availability in rural areas, but Smithville recognizes the growth potential of Dubois county, and the city of Jasper in particular,” Dauby noted.
This level of data transport can directly connect current and future large-scale commercial operations in Jasper and Dubois County to various public data centers throughout Indiana, disaster recovery cloud storage facilities, large-scale university data centers and major operations around the world. Smithville maintains a similar facility at the WestGate@Crane Technology Park, which gives Dubois County companies “high-capacity connectivity to defense-related contractor facilities, technology companies, and academic partners.” the Smithville CTO said.
“Jasper and Dubois County are very well positioned to attract companies in the information economy,” he emphasized. Dauby explained that there exist three principal layers in internet service provider network design: core, aggregation and access. He drew an analogy that in terms of data transport, the core layer is similar to a high-speed and high-capacity interstate highway system. The aggregation layer functions similarly to a state highway that feeds into the high-capacity system, and the access layer serves in a similar fashion as city streets, which feed into the aggregation layer.
“The access layer is the most visible part of the three layers, as it is built and used in the local markets,” Dauby said. “This is where customers like residential users, financial and government institutions, businesses and schools connect directly to the Smithville fiber network, which we have been building over the past several years in Jasper.” The high-speed internet service Smithville provides Jasper businesses and residents then connects to the aggregator network and then to the high-capacity 100-gigabit core node that Smithville has chosen to locate in Dubois County.
As Dauby previously emphasized, a provider would typically only make connection to the core nodes available in a major urban market.
“In this case, the core optical network is available right here in Dubois County,” said Dauby. “A core network is expensive and is considered to be ‘heavy infrastructure’ in a network design – these are the high-speed transport links that move aggregated data to and from the rest of the world.”
The Smithville network is engineered to handle emerging technologies in the Internet of Things (IoT), streaming video and cloud data. What does this mean for economic development in Dubois County?
“From a technology perspective there simply isn’t a company or industry sector that can eliminate Dubois County from consideration based on data connectivity requirements,” Dauby concluded.
Nationally recognized for more than a decade as a Top 100 Broadband Company, privately owned Smithville is Indiana’s largest independent telecom company with more than 200 employees. With an earned reputation as a communications technology innovator, Smithville is presently deploying Fiber-to-the-Premise (FTTP) and other enhanced fiber services to its business and residential customers. It launched its “Best Speed Available” service in 2017, eliminating speed tiers and data caps for its internet service, regardless of platform (fiber or copper). These services, which range up to 100 Gbps for enterprise operations, provide a platform for the fastest connectivity available in Indiana to business, institutions and consumers. In addition to its residential services, Smithville provides commercial fiber-based connectivity, data consulting, network management and managed services for businesses, university campuses, biotechnology companies, healthcare providers, government offices, residential centers, communities, and other entities, including the WestGate @ Crane Technology Park and the Purdue Research Park. Smithville also manages a legacy copper communication network in rural south-central Indiana, and a system-wide fiber-to-the-cabinet upgrade has improved speeds and reliability across its copper-based network. The company currently serves about 23,000 businesses and residences in southern and central Indiana. For more information, please visit www.smithville.com.