MetroNet took another big step into bringing more internet options to residents in New Bern.
On Thursday, the company announced construction has officially begun on its 100 percent fiber-optic infrastructure in the colonial capital.
MetroNet is fully funding the multi-million-dollar investment in infrastructure that will provide New Bern residents and businesses with access to ultra-high-speed fiber optic internet, TV, and phone services.
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In July, the City of New Bern approved the 2021 Make Ready Public Infrastructure for Broadband Service Providers Project Fund. The fund established $7.2 million to facilitate necessary infrastructure work, all reimbursable by MetroNet when construction is completed.
Upon completion, New Bern will become a Gigabit City through MetroNet’s future-proofed fiber-optic network. New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw said residents will benefit from the move for years to come.
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“New Bern is one step closer to becoming a Gigabit City and we are looking forward to working with MetroNet to provide another choice for our residents and businesses,” said Mayor Dana Outlaw. “With the implementation of MetroNet’s network, New Bern will experience the benefits of modern technology for years and years.”
Originally expected to begin in October, construction will expand rapidly, with the first customers set to come online in the spring of 2022, according to a news release from MetroNet.
As construction continues throughout the community, customers may sign up for presale which will place them on the top of the list when installations are available in their area.
The New Bern Sun Journal reached out to MetroNet personnel for the exact location for where construction began, along with the number of presale customers the company has signed up.
MetroNet has updated its construction website to include most areas in New Bern, but it does not show which area is currently under construction.
Based on bringing internet options to homes and businesses in underserved communities, the company expects its network to be available to more than one million residential households and business locations in the near future.
“We’ve experienced a warm welcome from the City of New Bern and Mayor Outlaw,” said CEO John Cinelli, MetroNet CEO. “We can’t thank Mayor Outlaw and the council (board of aldermen) enough for the invitation.”
Residents in construction areas will receive communication by mail about construction activity in their neighborhood 30 days prior to beginning. The company provides additional messaging, such as yard signs, to let residents know when the temporary construction process is beginning in their neighborhood.
MetroNet crews are marked by ID tags and branded vehicles.
Reporter Trevor Dunnell can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please consider supporting local journalism by signing up for a digital subscription.