Moving Into Tomorrow

The Future is Arriving at the Speed of Light

With the announcement of four fiber-optic hubs within Delaware County, it appears that the “people in high places” here in the Muncie area are indeed acting on their vision of the future by attracting high-tech businesses.

The first all-digital nationwide fiber-optics network was introduced by Sprint in the mid-1980s. In 1997, fiber-optics expanded worldwide with the introduction of the Fiber-optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG). A major endeavor by the industry that spanned the last decades of the last millennium into the next was to replace all copper-wire networks using analog equipment with new fiber-optics connected to digital equipment. The endeavor slowed down when the focus of front-leading technology then abruptly changed to wireless communications following the allowance of additional bandwidth by the FCC for commercial use.

The latest advancement of the fiber-optic concept is to replace copper-wire cable with cable consisting of strands of glass to increase speed and capacity of data transmission.

Fiber optics may no longer be a state of the art concept, but it sure beats copper-wire.

Industrial parks get fiber-ready designation

TheStarPress – January 31, 2017

MUNCIE, Ind. — Muncie and the surrounding area now have four industrial parks equipped with fiber optic cable technology, officials announced Tuesday.

The availability of high-speed internet access is a tool that Delaware County can use to attract economic development, officials said in a Tuesday morning announcement at the Horizon Convention Center.

The business/industrial parks where AT&T has installed fiber optic infrastructure are the Industria Centre on Muncie’s southwest side, the Airpark Industrial Park on the city’s north side, the Ontario Certified Technology Park just west of downtown and the Park One/332 industrial park at Ind. 332 and Interstate 69 in Yorktown.

The fiber optic cable is already installed, Jim Tackett, AT&T Indiana director of external affairs, told The Star Press. Tackett wouldn’t disclose the cost of installing the cable in the four parks but noted that AT&T had invested $2 billion in its wired and wireless infrastructure in Indiana between 2013 and 2015.

Jud Fisher of Delaware Advancement Corp. introduced Tackett and Mayor Dennis Tyler, who also spoke.

The fiber optic network was “created as a tool to help officials better market their communities,” Tackett said.

Delaware County is the first area in Indiana to have four fiber-ready sites, Tackett added. The four are among 15 sites designated in the state.

Tackett said he “would be willing to bet” that national or international developers’ top five questions about a community, along with highway infrastructure and tax incentives, is about the presence of fiber optic cable.

Tyler also noted that Muncie was recently designated as a broadband-ready community.

“This is an additional tool to use,” Fisher added.

The four industrial parks and their immediate areas are home to some of the biggest employers in the community, including Magna Power Train and Progress Rail near the Industria Centre, Navient at the Airpark, Ontario Systems at the Ontario park and Mursix Corp. at Park One.