MORRIS – Things are moving faster in the Ashley Road industrial zone of Morris.
Comcast, the digital cable, high-speed Internet and home phone service giant announced March 29 that it added more than 5 miles of fiber optic and coaxial cable network in the Ashley Road area northeast of the city’s center.
The investment gives 30 existing small- and medium-sized businesses some of the fastest Internet speeds available, at up to 10 gigabytes per second.
The upgrades were set in motion when area business owners worked to get a visit from Comcast, Morris Mayor Richard Kopczick said. The representatives observed the sluggish Internet speeds and how many available lots are still left. Businesses owners are already seeing better productivity.
“The Internet speed and bandwidth Comcast offers vastly improve our ability to serve our customers,” Walttools Vice President Don Ciesieski said in a news release. “Before Comcast, we had to limit the number of employees who could be on the Internet simultaneously. Now all of our employees can be online at the same time taking care of customers.”
Kopczick said business owners along Ashley Road were patient but promoted the need for improvements. He said the project took about six months.
“It was a fantastic job by Comcast from the design to implementation of the project,” Kopczick said.
Comcast paid for the infrastructure upgrade, which was tied into the existing Ashley Road easement that includes natural gas, electricity, phone, water and now, fiber optic capabilities. All parties involved agreed it helps existing businesses and may attract more.
Kopczick said for a long time, the area incorrectly showed up on GPS applications as a cornfield.
“This is one more tool a real estate agent can use when attracting potential buyers in that area,” Kopczick said.
Jay Dirkmaat, regional vice president of Comcast Business, said Comcast’s proactive builds and other efforts to expand its network and increase capacity have helped reach more businesses.