SOUTHFIELD — 123Net, the Southfield-based provider of data center, network, and voice services, announced a new partnership with the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency (St. Clair County RESA).
The company said the deal means RESA’s fiber network, which brings high-speed internet access to schools, public libraries, and municipalities throughout St. Clair County will be improved and expanded, while 123Net will gain access to the county to serve the community’s businesses.
St. Clair County RESA created its fiber network, stretching about 200 miles throughout the county, more than 20 years ago. Through this new partnership, RESA will gain a larger fiber network, and significantly reduced cost for internet service. RESA also gains access to the largest, privately owned, carrier neutral data center in Southeast Michigan and the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-IX), one of the world’s largest peering hubs.
123Net, in turn, will be able to expand into St. Clair County and offer more competitive connections to private St. Clair County businesses and industries. These businesses will be able to peer with any of the participants of DET-IX. 123Net is in the process of building two 10-gigabit-per-second virtual pipes between its Southfield data center and the RESA, providing an added layer of redundancy to the county’s connectivity.
“Much of our area is significantly underserved, and bringing more providers to the area will only help our community,” said Dennis Buckmaster, director of IT for St. Clair RESA. “This partnership with 123Net will help to close that gap for our county and our businesses. I see this partnership continuing to grow in the future.”
123Net expects to finish the construction of a new internet backbone along the St. Clair River sometime this year. Given its location across from Canada, this expanded network will also host multiple ports ideal for international trade.
Businesses in the area expecting to benefit from the partnership include automotive parts manufacturers, agricultural centers, power plants, and Michigan’s salt mining industry, among others. This initiative will also provide a roadmap for other counties to follow to create a similar structure and capitalize on opportunities for their communities.
Said Chuck Irvin, director of network development at 123Net: “We’re dedicated to providing Michigan businesses with the best service possible, so it’s really a win-win for everyone involved when businesses get the connections they need, the RESA is able to grow and upgrade inexpensively, and we get to expand our footprint to another community that we can serve. We’re looking forward to this inspiring other communities to leverage our solutions and partner with us in similar ways.”
For more information, visit https://www.123.net/news or www.detroitix.com.