Fiber-optic network expands to Orange Park, Fleming Island

By Nick Blank nick@clayodayonline.com
Posted 9/21/22

CLAY COUNTY – A Jacksonville fiber company is adding service to one of Clay County's busiest areas in a privately funded initiative.

Fiber-optic internet service provider, IQ Fiber, launched …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for subscribing.

Single day pass

You also have the option of purchasing 24 hours of access, for $1.00. Click here to purchase a single day pass.

Fiber-optic network expands to Orange Park, Fleming Island

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – A Jacksonville fiber company is adding service to one of Clay County's busiest areas in a privately funded initiative.

Fiber-optic internet service provider, IQ Fiber, launched about a year ago. Rapid growth led to an expansion into Clay County, CEO Ted Schremp said. The company has expanded to 50 employees and recently opened a facility in Murray Hill.

Its first customer network was established in San Jose Forest, though networks in San Marco and Atlantic Beach are also coming online in phases.

“All the core work is done, to us, this is extending the network into an additional footprint,” Schremp said.

Engineering designs and permits have been in progress for months, Schremp added. He said he hopes to break ground in the next couple of weeks for the underground construction.

“The construction requires reels of fiber-optic cable laid underground,” Schremp said. “It’s labor and equipment intensive.”

The number of potential customers is still to be determined.

Fiber is not new, but its use has slowly come to the fore. The country’s internet infrastructure used DSL poles, which were technology meant for phones. Then, the internet used the cable infrastructure meant for cable television.

The scale of the implementation of fiber depends on population, the high cost of building and maintaining the infrastructure. Internet providers have also tried to thwart the entry of fiber into cities, though fiber entered and created networks in cities such as Kansas City, Atlanta and Salt Lake City. Now, fiber can go into living rooms.

“Over the course of the past few decades to support the internet, it adapted other technologies. Fiber is the core of telecom architecture,” Schremp said. “Absolutely everything is frankly using suboptimal adapted technology.”

Fiber is often referred to as a symmetrical service, which means the upload speeds can equal download speeds. Having fast and reliable internet is a high priority in fields like telehealth, education and for people who work from home.

Part of IQ Fiber’s goal is establishing service in underserved areas. She said the private investment is approximately $20 million, covering a majority of the Town of Orange Park and some of Fleming Island.

“Since 2020, we have had more people working from home than ever before,” Smithers said. “It’s how we live our lives.”

Schremp explained an internet connection is no longer limited to a cellphone here or a computer there. He referenced the Internet of Things, a concept that is an overview of how many devices can use the internet.

It’s tough to imagine a garage door or a washing machine requiring the internet, but Schremp said the technology is there now.

“The fundamental issue here is providing choice where choice doesn’t exist,” he said.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here