Fiber optic telecommunications company MetroNet to invest $50 million in Palm Coast expansion

Indiana-based telecommunications company MetroNet will invest $50 million to bring high-speed fiber-optic internet to Palm Coast through 3 million linear feet of fiber, company officials said at a conference. press conference on December 14 at Palm Coast City Hall.

“I think Palm Coast is positioning itself to take advantage of the digital economy that will power our future.”

—NICK KLUFAS, Councilor of Palm Coast

The company will make Palm Coast “a pioneer in the advancement of technology,” Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin said at the press conference.

“With the addition of MetroNet to other communications companies in our city, it’s safe to say that Palm Coast has become digitally prosperous,” he said.

The company’s high-speed Internet offerings will help the city attract job-creating businesses, enable residents to connect to services more efficiently, and improve connections for people who work from home, Alfin said.

MetroNet had approached the city to come to Palm Coast, not the other way around. But Alfin credited city staff with recognizing the opportunity.

“Our team’s expertise and skills have helped us gain a successful business for wanting to start business here,” Alfin said.

The company, created in 2005 by founder and CEO John Cinelli, serves communities in 14 states, but Palm Coast will be its second in Florida, after Tallahassee.

“With the addition of MetroNet to other communications companies in our city, it’s safe to say that Palm Coast has become digitally prosperous.”

— DAVID ALFIN, Mayor of Palm Coast

MetroNet offers 10 gigabit Internet, “which just means a lot of speed,” Cinelli said at the press conference. “And it’s symmetrical, so it’s the same speed to you as it is from home.”

Construction will begin in the spring of 2022 and will likely serve around 50,000 residences, potentially starting in late summer or early fall 2022.

MetroNet has an agreement with FPL to attach its equipment to utility poles and will also have a storefront in the city, creating about 25 jobs, according to Cinelli.

The network will have overhead and underground components that will help make it resilient to storms, helps MetroNet government affairs director Kris Smith.

MetroNet CEO John Cinelli speaks at a press conference in Palm Coast on December 14. Photo by Jonathan Simmons

“We will automatically have redundancy built in, so if one side is cut, we’ll switch everyone through the other,” she said.

President and CEO of the Palm Coast-Flagler Regional Chamber of Commerce, Greg Blosé, emphasized the importance of fast internet speeds for economic development.

“With high-speed Internet access, businesses in our community will be able to operate online faster than ever, improving the quality of their business and products,” Blosé said. “This internet connectivity issue cannot be overstated in its importance to the future of our community.”

Councilman Nick Klufas said he would like to see Palm Coast attract digital workers.

“I think Palm Coast is positioning itself to take advantage of the digital economy that will power our future,” Klufas said.

MetroNet will notify residents of construction in their area about a month before it begins, according to a statement from MetroNet.

Individuals and businesses wishing to connect to MetroNet should visit MetroNetInc.com/iwantfiber, according to the press release.

Sean B. Jackson