Montana State University

Workshop to focus on bringing 'MetroNet' to Bozeman

October 23, 2012 -- MSU News Service

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The City of Bozeman, Montana State University, MSU Innovation Campus and TechRanch will host a Nov. 1 workshop on the benefits of bringing a high-capacity fiber optic data network to Bozeman.

The Gallatin Valley Metronet workshop will be held at Bozeman City Hall, City Commission Meeting Room, 121 North Rouse Ave. The workshop will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with lunch served. Attendance is free but registration is requested by contacting Brit Fontenot at bfontenot@bozeman.net by noon Tuesday, Oct. 30.

Driven by the goal of serving today's data intensive companies as well as attracting more high tech businesses to Bozeman - an idea written into the city's strategic plan - the workshop will focus on the community's needs and economic benefits of expanding Bozeman's access to the information superhighway via a locally driven fiber Metronet.

Dewitt Latimer, chief information officer at MSU, was working at the University of Notre Dame when that university partnered with the local governments in the South Bend area to create the Saint Joseph Valley Metronet (www.metronetzing.org). Now eight years later, the SJV Metronet consists of over 60 miles of high capacity fiber optic cable serving more than 110 businesses and nonprofit organizations with inexpensive, very high-speed and robust data connections and is a major attractor for recruiting new businesses to the area.

Latimer confirmed that Mary Jan Hedman, executive director of the SJV Metronet, will present her community's experience and forward-looking strategy at the workshop.

Contact: Brit Fontenot, Director of Economic Development and Community Relations, City of Bozeman, bfontenot@bozeman.net.