MEDINA – Chief Operation Officer David Corrado has announced that monthly revenue collected from subscribers of the Medina County Fiber Network now equals monthly bond payments.
The milestone announced Feb. 11 puts the network well on to the road to self-sufficiency after years of being subsidized by Medina County commissioners.
“I’m absolutely thrilled with the news,” said County Administrator Scott Miller.
An announcement released about the milestone says the network, which launched in 2013, has been providing high-speed fiber connectivity to more than 200 businesses with extremely fast speeds. Its “open access” model allows Internet service providers to lease space on county-owned fiber infrastructure and compete for customers’ business. Corrado said that the monthly revenue stream now equals the networks’ $100,000 monthly bond payment, but not all of its additional operating costs.
“This is a key metric that we’re pleased to reach as Medina County Fiber Network begins expanding our trusted network to homes throughout Medina County,” said Corrado. “It’s proof that the county’s investment in fiber infrastructure works well now and positions our community for even more economic success and better quality-of-life.”
Although the fiber network is owned by the Medina County Port Authority, Medina County commissioners effectively paid for its construction by guaranteeing the $14.4 million in recovery zone bonds issued in 2010 to build the network.
County commissioners, the cities of Brunswick, Medina and Wadsworth and villages of Seville and Westfield Center as well as the Cascade Capital Corporation all contributed to a bond reserve fund that makes the annual payments on the construction loan. However, the cooperation agreements with the cities and villages has expired leaving the county with sole responsibility for maintaining the bond reserve fund.
In past years, the county paid nearly all of the $1.2 million needed to replenish the reserve fund after bond payments were made. Last year, Miller said the network contributed about $400,000 toward those bond payments. Miller expects the network to contribute about $800,000 toward the bond payments this year.
Corrado says he’s encouraged by the steady demand for fiber service among businesses and residents and is pleased that the network’s subscriber revenue now equals the bond payment.
“The community need is great, so seeing revenues grow with demand is an indication that our investment in the community is paying off,” he said.
The network was initially designed to help companies grow through access to high-speed fiber, but in 2019, MCFN began expanding its fiber network to provide residential services. Once fully built, the network will be potentially accessible to nearly 75,000 households and businesses.
Corrado has been meeting with engineers to finalize how the fiber-to-the-home expansion will be constructed. Phase I of the project kicked off in December and covers the villages of Seville and Westfield Center, and Guilford Township. He says that resident demand for fast, affordable, and reliable fiber service in the Phase I communities remains strong, and that his team is now preparing for the second phase, which will extend coverage to the balance of the county.
“It is imperative that we hear from every Medina County household as we’re going to build in the communities where we have the strongest demand first,” Corrado said.
Medina County households that want fiber service should visit www.medinacountyfibernetwork.com to learn more about the fiber-to-the-home project, and share their street address to inform the project team which will be deciding where it should construct the network next.