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Regional network operator Bluebird Network said it will provide fiber access to more than 500 towers to support 5G network deployments. The company’s network now reaches across five states and 28 markets in the midwest.

The Bluebird Network 5G powered expansion is expected to be completed by the end of the year. Markets in the expansion area are Columbia, Jefferson City, Kirksville, Macon, Hannibal, La Plata, Mountain View, Rangeline, Fayette, Kahoka, and Moberly (Missouri); Rockford, Peoria, Monmouth, Sterling, Rock Falls and Dixon (Illinois); Knoxville, Indianola, Burlington, Waterloo and Ottumwa (Iowa); Coffeyville, Independence, Salina and Parsons (Kansas) and McAlester and Broken Bow (Oklahoma).

“We understand these connections are no longer a luxury, they are a necessity for businesses,” said Bluebird Network President, and CEO Michael Morey in a press release. “Many applications require low latency to ensure optimal performance, requiring a concerted effort to move access closer to end-users. Bluebird is stepping up its network capabilities to ensure the communities we serve have the connectivity needed to embrace the digital economy.”

Bluebird Network Map (Source: Bluebird website)

Bluebird Network, which is headquartered in Columbia, MO, has more than 9,800 fiber route miles in more than 60,000 on-net and near-net buildings and 151 points of presences in the Midwest. Bluebird Network and other regional fiber operators are expected to benefit from 5G given it’s thirst for fiber backhaul.

Bluebird Network expanded both organically and by acquisition last year.

  • In January, it completed a 61-mile expansion in Springfield, MO. The project interconnects business areas in the city to the Bluebird Underground Data Center, which also is in Springfield and the company’s Midwestern fiber network.
  • In February, the company completed a fiber expansion in Jefferson City, MO.
  • The company expanded its Illinois network in March, with the completion of its acquisition of the Illinois Network Alliance (INA).
  • In May, Bluebird Network completed a three-network integration and expansion in Illinois. The project featured the INA acquisition and PEG Bandwidth Illinois, which it also owns.
  • In August, the company said it would add 60 miles of fiber to its fiber backbone in Columbia, MO, and an undisclosed number of miles in Stafford, MO.
  • In October, the company said that it had completed an $11.5 million expansion of the Bluebird Underground Data Center in Springfield, MO.

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