360networks has filed its application for federal stimulus funding to expand broadband access to rural and underserved markets. 360networks is a fiber-based telecom provider, operating a 17,200-mile fiber network in the western United States.

360network’s proposed "middle-mile" project would access 17 rural markets and a surrounding 10-mile radius along its existing 1,011-mile fiber optic route extending from Chicago to New Orleans. This route is diverse to most national fiber backbones thus creating a cost effective alternative for broadband providers from most existing backhaul solutions. The proposal would create rural points of presence at amplifier and regeneration sites along 360network’s fiber optic backbone.

360networks has been working with last-mile service providers over the past six months to deliver a package that offers connectivity to the nation’s fiber backbone and turnkey products for last-mile providers. Other areas where the company has unique and diverse fiber routes and has been approached by last-mile providers include Washington, Idaho and Montana.

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