DeKalb Fiber Optic, LLC (DFO) was formed in 2004 as a cooperative construction project with Northern Illinois University to install approximately 3.5 miles of fiber optic cable connecting NIU’s Data Center and TBC Net, Inc.’s data center to existing fiber optic cables at I-88. In the planning phase of this project, known as the “Phase 1” fiber, DFO formed agreements or acquired easements with the DeKalb Park District, the City of DeKalb, the DeKalb School District, and other commercial parties.
The Phase 1 fiber was installed and operation began in the fall of 2005, bringing much needed bandwidth to both entities. The cooperation between educational, municipal, not-for-profit and commercial entities was key. DFO has focused on bringing additional entities into the DFO network, expanding our network reach and shortening the time for municipal approval.
The next major phase for DFO was construction of a north-south backbone extending from the East side of the City of DeKalb, north on Peace road, and ending in downtown Sycamore. Based on a group of customers, DFO calculated the most cost-effective route, which provided the maximum amount of bandwidth and connectivity to customers along that path.
As we move into the future, DFO continues to expand its network. From a 3.5 mile network in 2005, DFO currently has over 50 miles of fiber in and around the DeKalb/Sycamore area. DFO has provided connectivity for all of the Sycamore School District buildings, as well as many customers in the healthcare, manufacturing, financial, retail, and insurance industry. We are actively seeking expansion of our core DeKalb/Sycamore network as well as examining the possibilities of expanding beyond the DeKalb/Sycamore area.