•September 23, 2015•
By Nick Fiala
Reporting in Sullivan
Just east of the Moultrie County Courthouse is a white building on the corner of Harrison and Washington streets. Sullivan citizens go by it everyday without realizing the unique and vital service provided by seven people working out of a large room on the second floor.
The business is called Metro Communications; odds are that you use their services everyday, without realizing it.
“If you use a phone in central Illinois everyday, you use our service; you just don’t know it.” said Zak Horn, who has owned Metro Comm since 2000.
“Nobody really knows who we are or what we do...which is fine.” he said, with a laugh.
“Nobody” means everyday people using cellular phone and internet services. Cell phone companies are the actual customers for providers such as Metro Comm. They are a competitive local telephone company, providing wholesale, carrier, and enterprise services in a 26 county area.
“There’s a million-plus individuals that are in the footprint that we cover for services that we provide,” said Horn. “If you’re an AT&T, T-mobile, Sprint, or Verizon cell phone subscriber in Illinois, then we support those services. Those are our customers that pay us to deliver backhaul to the towers.”
Those towers are connected underground by thousands of miles of fiber optic cable laid out along roadways in a lengthy but delicate process by 30-plus field employees.
“There’re two ways to basically put fiber optic cable into the ground,” Horn said. “One is with a large cable plow, and the other is where you essentially thread it underground, and then tile the conduit together. There are multiple stages of construction required.”
None of that includes the long precise planning process Horn and his dedicated team work out with those invested in the land where cable needs to be laid. Read More