Apr 28, 2022 5:00 AM
SPENCER — Western Medina County residents can expect to see the installation of fiber internet over the next few years as Lit Fiber works to provide the service to the area.
During an event Wednesday, Medina County officials and members of Lit Fiber discussed the future of installing fiber for every business and household in Medina County as a part of a countywide-funded project.
Lit Fiber is a local fiber internet project with the goal of connecting the Lorain-Medina Rural Electric Cooperative’s area with the help of a partnership composed of Lit Communities, Medina Fiber, LMRE and Medina County Fiber Network.
The areas include Litchfield Township, Chatham Township, Harrisville Township, Homer Township, Spencer Township and the village of Spencer.
“It’s a true privilege to work with the amazing leaders who came together on this incredible investment,” said Bethany Dentler, executive director of Medina County Economic Development Corp.
According to Dentler, when she joined MCEDC more than 10 years ago the idea of creating a fiber network in the county was already being discussed.
While it was being discussed, she said that the way it has turned out with the partnerships made for the project is something unexpected.
Dentler said that the successful partnerships all began with conversations and asking big questions.
“What if we could actually build residential fiber to all of Medina County? What if we were each willing to invest a little bit more out of our own resources to bring about a greater good?” Dentler said. “And I’m thrilled to say that for the partners here today, the answers to those questions were a resounding yes, let’s make it happen.”
Medina County Commissioner Steve Hambley reflected on the project’s progression over more than a decade. Hambley said that while there were points where people didn’t agree with the fiber network, the county is now at a strong point of dedication to making it happen.
He used the example of a three-legged stool, which now stays strong with the dedication from the county, Lit Communities and LRME.
“We’re going to have that firm foundation, public funding, public support and along with LMRE and LIT community (to) be able to move this in a historic way that every resident in Medina County within a short period of time should be able to have fiber to the home,” Hambley said.
In addition to ensuring that residents would have the option of having fiber in their homes, Hambley said that the hope is to work with residents to understand the technology and digital literacy.
As LRME General Manager Ed VanHoose said, the installation of fiber internet throughout the county helps level the playing field for people in rural areas compared to those in the cities that have an established internet network.
Lit Communities CEO Brian Snider said that this partnership and project will put Medina County on the map as other municipalities and businesses will follow suit.
“You’re not going to have a single child, person, home, business that does not have the option of proper connectivity,” Snider said. “That’s going to change not only the county but surrounding areas too because they see what you’re doing. You’re setting the example.”
Snider said that after the project is completed, Medina County will be able to say that the digital divide is done in the area.
While the event helped kick off the installation of the fiber network in western Medina County, Snider said that this project will take multiple years to complete throughout the community. He said that the construction plan is still in progress for the project.
As construction happens, Snider said that Lit Fiber will remain overly communicative about what is happening and when residents can expect to be connected.
To follow along with the construction project, visit getlitfiber.com.
“We’re celebrating in Spencer today, but this is truly a victory for the entire county,” Dentler said.
Contact reporter Sara Crawford at (330) 721-4063 or firstname.lastname@example.org.