Press Release: Chicago Southland Fiber Network launch and grand opening

Linda McCants Pendleton,
South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association

EAST HAZEL CREST, IL (June 1, 2015)—One by one, towns, schools, libraries and courthouses in the south suburbs along I-57 are cashing-in on the public-private partnership and investment made in the Chicago Southland Fiber Network Project to bring affordable high-speed fiber optic broadband to the region.

This network is capable of providing multiple 10 Gbps internet connections to over 30 distribution points in the Chicago South Suburbs.

The Village of Monee is one of the first Municipalities to take advantage of the new network by converting their antiquated and failing phone system into a new state of the art  Internet Protocol (IP) phone system hosted in the Urbancom Tier III+ Data Center in Oak Forest, at the head-end of the network.  The village takes advantage of the gigabit network to provide high speed communications and an overall cost savings for the Village and its taxpayers. Monee Mayor Jay Farquhar said that their goal in using this new infrastructure is to build out a municipal network to more cost efficiently deliver better services to their taxpayers.

“Our substantial private sector investment to build out of the Tier III+ Data Center to support this network allows us to move the municipal voice PBX (Private Branch Exchange) into the cloud in a secure and redundant facility for a more cost effective operation and management,” said Urban Communications CEO Ed Urban.

The Village of Dixmoor will be the next community to benefit by this technology.

They are in the process of implementing the same solution as Monee which will replace their 1970s vintage phone system and provide a gigabit fiber optic connection to the village.

“The proposal being adopted by Dixmoor will result in nearly a 38 percent savings on their annual telephone and Internet costs and provide a substantial increase in Internet bandwidth for the village while providing state-of-the-art VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology,” Urban said.

The CSFN is managed and operated by in cooperation the South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association. It provides a high speed Gigabit Fiber Optic Network that serves the Chicago South Suburbs. The network initially constructed with State of Illinois “Illinois Jobs Now” funds it is a state-of-the-art carrier Ethernet fiber optic network.   As a public-private partnership Urban Communications invested nearly $3 million into the data center which is the head-end of the distribution network that provides ultra-high speed redundant connections to the nation’s Internet backbone.

The project is noteworthy because from start-to-finish SSMMA and Northern Illinois University worked with municipal representatives to identify a major problem that impacted education and economic development in the region: a lack of affordable high-speed broadband fiber. They then worked with government and transportation officials as well as private investors to address this problem with the Southland’s very own fiber optic network, the CSFN.

Other CSFN projects thus far have included the Village of Hazel Crest, the Markham Cook County Court House, Tinley Park Convention Center, Oak Forest Health Center, SouthCom Combined Dispatch, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association offices and more.

The gigabit service being provided to the Tinley Park Convention Center will allow that facility to compete for trade shows and events where ultra-high speed connectivity is a requirement.  The scalability of the product will allow the throttle up from 1 Gbps to 10 Gbps speed if the event would require those speeds.  This places the center as having one of the highest access speeds of any similar venue across the nation.

On June 4 at 5 p.m., the CSFN will officially hang up its open-for-business sign at a grand opening event and tour of its brand new $3 million data center facility, Tier III+ Data Center, at 5320 W 159TH Street, in Oak Forest, IL. The initiative has captured national attention and will be featuring special guest Don C.Williams, Ph.D. from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration of the United States Department of Commerce.

Dr. Williams is a senior specialist for broadband development for President Barack Obama’s new BroadbandUSA initiative. Prior to NTIA, Dr. Williams was chief operating officer and director of research for Rice Williams Associates, a telecommunications consulting firm serving more than 175 client cities, counties and state governments.

The network connects governmental buildings, colleges, hospitals, libraries, schools and commercial enterprise customers to the high speed information super-highway at the speed of light. Network access capacity to each customer of up to 10 Gbps with a 99.999 percent uptime SLA (service-level agreement) is available to network subscribers. In addition, this fiber technology allows the Southland to be at the forefront by providing a high speed telecommunications infrastructure for green manufacturing, cargo-oriented development and logistics. The economic benefit of high speed fiber connections will allow municipalities to attract new and vibrant businesses to the region and provide access to high paying jobs for residents. This network allows our communities and businesses to successfully compete in the global economy.

CSFN will be serving the Chicago Southland with:

  • Ultra High Speed Fiber Optics
  • Gigabit & Multi-gig Fiber Connectivity
  • Redundant Peering Connectivity
  • Scalable Commercial Internet Access
  • Point-to-point Bandwidth Services
  • Disaster Recovery & Cloud Computing
  • Carrier Backhaul Connectivity
  • Tier III+ Data Center Solutions
  • VoIP & Managed Voice Service Solutions

For more information, please visit

CSFN Grand Opening & Launch
June 4, 2015, 5-7:30 p.m.
Urbancom.Net Data Center
5320 W 159TH Street.
Oak Forest, IL 60452
Click here for a flyer.