Fiber optic communications has revolutionized broadband, delivering one gigabit (1000 megabits) or more of data per second to its users. Gigabit internet reaches customers faster than ever before, allowing for movie downloads in seconds, providing TV and phone services, exceptional online gaming experiences and a host of business functions. Owosso, Michigan and Shiawassee County are breaking into fiber internet through local provider DayStarr Communications and leading Michigan’s residential and business communities in broadband service.
A report conducted by the I-69 Thumb Region economic development partners, a collaborative effort under the Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative, compared broadband speeds and availability of the seven counties in the thumb area of Michigan to counties across the state. The report ranked Shiawassee County as number three in the state for Fiber-To-The-End-User coverage. DayStarr Communications in Owosso, which began serving business customers with fiber internet in 2006 and is now expanding to serve homes, is the only tech company in the county to offer gigabit internet.
“We watched the tech trends and we saw things moving towards a demand for higher speeds. We wanted to do that here,” said Collin Rose, President of DayStarr. DayStarr provides internet, phone, TV and other services through fiber optics in Owosso and surrounding areas. Positioned between Lansing and Flint, Owosso is a tech hotspot for commuters working in a variety of technology and engineering fields. “Having fiber speed available gives options to people who want to work at home,” said Rose.
Fiber internet also plays a significant role in attracting and keeping businesses in the area. Gigabit internet provides the power necessary to run security cameras, support video conferencing, voice over IP phone service, web hosting and many other online applications. “Connectivity is a big part of site selection,” Rose explained. “When businesses enter a community, they need to know what’s available to them.” Businesses have acknowledged Owosso’s accessibility, naming the city among the top 10 Midwest cities to start a small business.
The Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce, Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership and other community groups are renovating existing assets to further serve businesses in the area. The 100-year-old Armory building in Owosso is undergoing plans for redevelopment, maintaining its striking architecture while adding invaluable business resources, including shared conference rooms, office spaces, kitchen and break rooms, drop-in work stations, reception services and gigabit internet provided through DayStarr. “What we’re doing is making the building a source of business in the region,” said Jeff Deason, CEO of the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce. “We can position ourselves geographically as a business hub.”
DayStarr continues to expand fiber-to-home and fiber-to-business coverage in the area and encourages residents to request services online to focus expansion directions. To see a complete map of the fiber networks in Michigan, see the online map organized through Connect Michigan.
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