Everstream investing $27M in Milwaukee fiber network ahead of DNC

Company to invest $27M throughout Milwaukee area

Last updated on October 29th, 2019 at 01:28 pm

Cleveland-based Everstream is investing $27 million to expand its fiber network into the metro Milwaukee before the Democratic National Convention in 2020, the company announced Tuesday.

The expansion consists of two fiber rings that encircle western Milwaukee suburbs and touch the western part of downtown Milwaukee. By November, a 172-mile fiber network will be brought online, and by the end of 2020, the network will expand another 388 miles to create a dense metro network covering the greater Milwaukee area, according to a press release.

“Milwaukee was recently named one of the Top 50 Places to start a business by Inc. magazine and will soon host one of the largest gatherings held every four years – the Democratic National Convention,” said Brett Lindsey, Everstream president and CEO.

The Milwaukee-area network build-out includes construction of new small cell sites to provide high-bandwidth connectivity to the city and businesses, which will also deliver increased bandwidth and data required to support the DNC, according to a press release.

“These growing businesses and large-scale events need greater access to high-capacity fiber connectivity to be successful, and Everstream’s network was built from the ground up for businesses requiring reliability, speed and scale,” Lindsey said.

Everstream delivers fiber services to businesses only and offers dedicated internet access, dark fiber, ethernet, data center solutions with internet speeds up to 100 gigabytes, according the company’s website.

The company opened an office in the Wells Building in downtown Milwaukee earlier this year with 16 employees and four more positions to be added in the future, Lindsey said.

In January, the Midwest network service provider announced it would invest $300 million, adding 6,000 route miles of fiber to expand its footprint across Midwest. By 2020, the company will have a total of 16,000 route miles of fiber and connections to dozens of data centers in Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, Wisconsin, Indiana and Kentucky.

Earlier this year, Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers signed a bill intended to help speed the introduction of 5G to the state and in October, U.S. Cellular announced that customers in Wisconsin and Iowa will be the first to have access to its 5G network, providing them with faster wireless service.

Lindsey said Everstream is investing in Milwaukee because when it comes to fiber network access, the city is underserved. Moreover, if Milwaukee is to have 5G, there needs to be a larger fiber network, he added.

“The biggest concern is that there is not enough fiber,” Lindsey said. “And so, we believe, and it’s part of why we lunched a $300 million capital campaign back in January to build fiber across the Midwest, is that the promise of 5G only works with fiber.”

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Brandon Anderegg
Brandon covers startups, technology, banking and finance. He previously worked as a general assignment and court reporter for The Freeman in Waukesha. Brandon graduated from UW-Milwaukee’s journalism, advertising and media studies program with an emphasis in journalism. He enjoys live music, playing guitar and loves to hacky sack.