In an effort to drive economic development and investment in the area, the City of Washington Court House and AT&T announced Thursday that high speed fiber-based technology is now available locally.
The Washington C.H. industrial park, a collection of manufacturing and distribution companies in the southeastern part of the city, has been designated as “AT&T Fiber Ready.” Several community leaders and an AT&T representative gathered to make the announcement at the city’s economic development building.
“Just in Ohio the last three years, we’ve invested $1.6 billion,” said Nicole Staples Walker, AT&T’s director of external affairs. “Nationally in the past six years, we’ve invested $140 billion in our wireless networks. One of the major areas of that investment has been fiber optic facilities that open the door to high-speed connectivity that many businesses now demand. So when we’re thinking about attracting businesses to Washington Court House and Fayette County, we want to make sure that you all can offer them the same technology that any business park in Columbus, Cincinnati or Springfield can offer up. So this is a really big deal.”
With this designation, AT&T asserts that the industrial park can confidently attract businesses and tenants that demand high speed, reliable and secure internet connectivity.
Washington C.H. is the third such designation made by AT&T in Ohio. The first two cities were Franklin and Lancaster, Staples Walker said.
“We really want to start investing in our more rural areas because we know that broadband is needed,” she said. “You guys have space to welcome new businesses….so we were very specific and intentional about who we would want to partner with throughout Ohio. It’s a big deal for us to have Washington Court House on board.”
It’s also a big deal to city leaders.
“I’m extremely excited about the fiber-ready designation,” said City Manager Joe Denen. “Over the years in partnership with AT&T and really with the foresight of AT&T, we’ve made tremendous investments in the infrastructure of this community. When a business is considering a new location, company leadership considers transportation infrastructure, ease of access to utilities, the quality of the local workforce, and the presence of fiber optics and high-speed communications infrastructure. This designation gives us a valuable new tool that can help us attract more employers to our area.”
Washington C.H. City Council Chairman Dale Lynch noted that what’s good for the city is also good for Fayette County.
“We have a lot of things in Fayette County that I believe make this a very attractive site for new businesses and companies,” Lynch said. “And obviously what AT&T is doing, making our industrial park fiber-ready, is a great thing for any new businesses because most new businesses are very technologically-oriented. So to have this here, to have AT&T do that for us, I think is very important and part of what we want to do in the industrial park and what we want to do in Fayette County. We think we have a great situation here. We’re located in a perfect spot between a lot of cities, and so we’re really happy that we’re one of the first in the state to have this fiber-ready process completed.”
Being fiber-ready means having the ability to enjoy an all-in-one network that can carry video, voice and data, AT&T representatives said. It also means access to high speed, reliable and secure internet connectivity; access to a complete suite of technology tools and solutions offered by AT&T; access to mobility and backup solutions including videoconferencing, virtual private networks and the cloud; the ability to employ scalable business and technology services that can grow over time with businesses of all sizes; the ability to implement new fiber-based services in a timely manner; and access to local AT&T resources for project planning.
“AT&T has a long history of investment in Fayette County,” said AT&T Ohio President Adam Grzybicki. “Each and every day, our employees are turning our millions of dollars of Ohio investment into high-speed internet access for consumers and businesses. It’s exciting for us to provide this resource to our partners who are driving economic development here.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica