Rural Nebraska group breaks ground on $18M, 750-mile network

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After two years of planning, construction has begun on an $18M fiber optic network to support the Rural Nebraska Healthcare Network (RNHN), a consortium of nine rural hospitals and related clinics in western Nebraska. When complete, the 750-mile fiber network will span 12 counties.

The ground-breaking occurred at Regional West Medical Center, an RNHN member facility in Scottsbluff, Neb. The project is supported by the Regional West Foundation, in cooperation with several private firms, including Zayo Group.

“This fiber network will facilitate the deployment of advanced medical technologies, and vastly improve patient care and physician communication,” said Lisa Bewley, chief information officer for Regional West Medical Center in Scottsbluff, Neb.

The project is funded by the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Healthcare Pilot Program and by Zayo, the company stated.

In addition to the nine primary care hospitals, the network will connect dozens of affiliated clinics, creating one of the most advanced and robust medical technology networks in Nebraska, according to Zayo, a provider of bandwidth infrastructure and network-neutral colocation services, based in Louisville, Colo.

The RNHN will enable additional commercial telecommunications products to be offered in underserved rural Nebraska, according to Zayo.