OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zhone Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZHNE), a global leader in network access solutions for fiber, copper and wireless broadband infrastructures, today announced that broadband stimulus award winner Shawnee Telephone Company has selected its multi-service access node (MSANs) for support of the Southern Illinois Sustainable Broadband Transformation project.
By using Zhone’s MSAN platform, Shawnee can utilize a combination of broadband technologies including Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) and ADSL2+ to more cost effectively provide equal opportunity high-speed access to even the most rural locations.
Slated to begin this month, the Southern Illinois Sustainable Broadband Transformation project will provide direct employment for nearly 100 people in an area with one of the nation’s highest unemployment rates. Fiber connectivity will enable local school and community college systems to provide online learning and additional college preparatory classes in a move to permanently bolster opportunity and economic advantages for the region. Shawnee has also proposed free access to personal computers and training to further bridge the opportunity divide for low income residents.
“Zhone’s single-platform, multi-service approach to broadband access provisioning provides both the flexibility and service scalability required for the success and ongoing growth of this project,” said Mike Grisham, controller for Shawnee Telephone Company. “Zhone is consistently responsive in helping us meet the unique challenges in rural service provisioning, both in upfront equipment value and by significantly lower ownership costs over the long term.”
“This is one of many stimulus contracts for Zhone and validates that our MSAN solutions and intelligent end terminals are designed for low-touch and no-touch provisioning from central office locations which is a critical advantage for serving rural areas,” said Brian Caskey, chief marketing officer for Zhone. “By providing access – starting at the desktop – Shawnee has shown extreme foresight and commitment to ensuring real long-term educational opportunities, growth and economic promise to the area.”
The Southern Illinois Sustainable Broadband Transformation project was awarded $7.35 million in grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utility and $1 million in matching funds from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.