RCN Metro to Build OpenCapes Stimulus-Funded Network

Non-profit OpenCape Corp. is making good on a deal forged last summer with RCN Metro (RCNI).

OpenCape is an organization made up of experts from colleges and universities, municipalities, hospitals and utilities, all working to bring communications services to the Cape Cod region. Its seed funding came from counties, private institutes and a community college.

Last July, OpenCape and RCN Metro agreed that if OpenCape scored broadband stimulus funds, RCN Metro would build and operate the resulting fiber-optic network. To that point, OpenCape said on Friday it has indeed landed government grants, to the tune of $32 million, and RCN Metro will design, construct and maintain the 350-mile, open-access, high-speed network.

Initial services will include dedicated point-to-point SONET and Ethernet from 1.5mbps to 10Gbps; switched Ethernet from 1.5mbps to 10gbps; wavelength from 1.25mbps to 10gbps; and Internet access. Once RCN Metro is done, everyone from businesses and residents to public safety officials and non-profits along the south coast of Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands will be able to use the network.

“Cape Cod and the Islands are in desperate need of a ubiquitous, reliable, redundant and cost-competitive telecommunications infrastructure,” Dan Gallagher, president of OpenCape, said in a prepared statement.

The project will take about three years to complete. And in addition to public Internet availability, the deal calls for an OpenCape colo center that will lease space to public and private organizations in the area.

In early 2009, President Obama signed the $787 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act; Congress set aside $7.2 billion for broadband deployment projects.

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