The Grosse Pointe Public School System has awarded Detroit-based internet service provider Rocket Fiber a $2 million contract to construct a new fiber optic network for the district by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
The new network will connect all 14 of the district’s school buildings and deliver a more than 300 percent increase to current connection speeds.
“An investment in a robust internet infrastructure demonstrates the district’s strategy of offering innovative learning models using technology,” says Marc Hudson, co-founder and CEO of Rocket Fiber. “We are proud to be their partner on this important initiative as it aligns perfectly with our mission to provide a faster and friendlier internet experience.”
Under the contract, Rocket Fiber will design and build a Fiber Optic Network and provide GPPSS with approximately 40 miles of new fiber network (with an estimated lifespan of 25 years) owned by the district, 10Gbps internet at no charge for 15 years, and free maintenance on the fiber network for 20 years.
“We’re pleased to be on the path to reaching this critical threshold for our district,” says Gary C. Niehaus, superintendent of the Grosse Pointe Public School System. “The call of 21st century learning, which is enabled through digital infrastructure and connectivity, can only be answered with fiber.”
As part of the partnership, the school district will allow Rocket Fiber to construct extra fiber expanding from the initial fiber ring, which the company plans to use to make its services available along the East Jefferson corridor in Detroit as well as the Grosse Pointe communities.
“This partnership allows us to quickly and efficiently bring fiber internet to areas that had previously been limited in their internet options,” Hudson says. “It is a big win for the community and is a proven public-private partnership model that we are discussing with other local districts interested in future-proofing their digital infrastructure.”
Niehaus adds, “Thinking ahead to a future where graduates of Grosse Pointe Public School System are at a distinct advantage resulting from the technology-enabled education received here requires the speed and bandwidth that Rocket Fiber will deliver to the district. Our district has always been known for its strength in traditional teaching and learning. That will now be enhanced through high-tech curricular tools, supported through a Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, model which we could only achieve with this infrastructure. This is where we are headed in GPPSS.”