McHenry County Broadband Fiber Network Consortium

In 2013, McHenry County along with the Emergency Telephone Systems Board, City of Woodstock, Woodstock Community Unit School District #200, and McHenry County College agreed to work together to form the McHenry County Broadband Fiber Network Consortium, which took on a $2.1 million project to build a high-speed fiber-optic communication network. Their project was to lay 15 miles of fiber-optic cables along Route 14, Route 47, and adjacent streets to connect up MCC, McHenry ETSB, City of Woodstock sites, and D200 sites (Figure 1).

Figure 1 – Map of the current network

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, the Consortium held a “Launch Party” with the Woodstock Chamber of Commerce and Industry, NIU/iFiber, and Stratus Networks to share the great news to businesses can now be hooked into to the Consortium’s network; before this, they were not able to do. The idea is that any large or medium-sized businesses could call up one of the partnered Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to obtain fiber-optic enterprise-level services. These services would include constructing a fiber-optic line to that said business and offer various levels of enterprise Internet connectivity, VoIP/SIP Trunking, collocation services, and more. It’s an real alternative to AT&T’s or Comcast’s enterprise-level offerings. The Consortium and one of the partnered ISPs, Stratus Networks, said that this is not intended for residential, and therefore will not be available to them. Businesses should be expected to obtain service starting at $750 for 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds and going up from there. Businesses interested in the service should contact the Consortium’s partner, iFiber, to talk one of the various providers to obtain service.