Friday, July 23, 2004

Butler Co. gets a freebie

Wireless Internet access - gratis at Government Services Center

By John Kiesewetter
Enquirer staff writer

HAMILTON - Wireless Internet access will be provided free of charge to the Butler County Government Services Center by the Middletown company that is buying a major share of the county's fiber-optic backbone.

Innovative Fiber Optic Solutions - known as iFiber - will install the service near the fourth-floor conference rooms, Butler County commissioners said Thursday.

"It's a good way to give it (the county) what they wanted, and to get our name out a bit," said Patrick Heinz, iFiber CEO and president.

Free wireless Internet access would be available there to people with laptop computers equipped for wireless connections, he said.

Heinz, who founded iFiber three years ago, has entered into a lease-purchase agreement for 30 of the 96 fiber-optic strands on the county's 100-mile fiber-optic network. He is buying them from Perry Thatcher, the Middletown City Council member who recently acquired the holdings of Robert Schuler and NORMAP Inc.

Heinz also has agreed to buy the eight strands from the 24-strand Middletown-Hamilton link that Thatcher obtained from NORMAP.

The high-tech company, based in the old First Financial Bank at 2 N. Main St., serves Butler Tech, the Butler County Surgical Center, Univarsity of Dayton, Sinclair Community College and Cox Publishing. It also provides local telephone service from north of Dayton to Northern Kentucky, and from Indiana to Clermont County, he said.


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