HORACE — A groundbreaking was scheduled for Tuesday, July 27, in Horace for what will be the central office of a ReadiTech fiber optic broadband network serving Horace and the nearby cities of Casselton and Mapleton.

Overall, the $30 million fiber optic infrastructure will be capable of providing 10 gigabit per second internet service within the city limits of the three communities as construction work in each area is completed.

That work has largely finished in Casselton, and completion is expected soon in Mapleton, as well.

The estimated completion date for the entire city of Horace is fall of 2022.

In addition to serving as the fiber optic network's central office, the Horace facility will also be home to ReadiTech’s engineering, fiber and managed IT services.

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"The future of fiber optic broadband has limitless potential to drive growth and economic development. We are proud to be the first to bring 10-gig-capable internet service to Horace, Casselton and Mapleton," said Kent Schimke, CEO and general manager of ReadiTech, a DRN company.

Melissa Beach, community and economic development director for Casselton, said prior to 2020, most of the internet service in Casselton was wireless service provided by companies using towers.

She said ReadiTech's arrival last year brought hardline internet connection, with downtown Casselton among the areas getting the fiber optic connection first.

"This (network) is incredibly important to us and even more so with what has happened in the last year," Beach said, referring to the impact of the pandemic and the fact that more people are now working out of home offices.

Just as important, she said, is the value of the network to businesses from the standpoint of faster speeds and reliability, which can help convince businesses to move into a community.

The fiber optic network will also be used by the school district, Beach said.

ReadiTech is a managed IT and telecommunications service company with headquarters in Ellendale, N.D.

The company also has locations in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks, Lisbon, and Oakes in North Dakota, as well as in Aberdeen, S.D.

For more information about ReadiTech, visit www.readitech.com/our-company/.