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Unite Private Networks to Provide Fiber Optics on Rock Island Bridge

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 18, 2023 – Unite Private Networks (UPN) is to provide Ethernet Internet Access (EIA) via lit fiber-optic cables to the Rock Island Bridge a historic railroad bridge that is currently being repurposed into a unique entertainment destination 40 feet above the Kansas River.

UPN will supply the fiber that will run across the entire span of the bridge inside of a narrow conduit. This assembly will not only provide the Rock Island Bridge’s vendors and guests with high-speed internet service, but also it will enable UPN to extend its network into surrounding communities in eastern Kansas. UPN’s ability to provide seamless EIA coverage from both east and west means there is a built-in redundancy in the event of coverage loss from one direction.

Installation of the fiber and activation of internet service are expected to be completed by March 2024, well in advance of the Rock Island Bridge’s expected spring 2024 opening to the public.

Jeremy Buck, senior account director for UPN, said, “We are always looking to form partnerships that are mutually beneficial to our customers and our company. By allowing us to build over the bridge, Rock Island Bridge will have enterprise-level internet service, and UPN becomes more robust and resilient to more communities in Kansas.”

Mike Laddin, vice president and chief financial officer at Flying Truss, the Kansas City start-up behind the project, commented, “The team at UPN is made of problem solvers. They focused on understanding our business model and creating a solution in spite of the challenges of being on a bridge. They figured out how to make this vital service happen. No other provider demonstrated that level of understanding and commitment.”

About Flying Truss, LLC

Flying Truss, LLC is a Kansas City, Missouri-based startup that is managing the transformation of Rock Island Bridge into “America’s First Destination Landmark Bridge.”

About Rock Island Bridge

The Rock Island Bridge is America’s first entertainment district and trailhead over a river. When work is completed in the spring of 2024, the historic 1905 railroad bridge will be a public crossing, a community center, a trailhead, and a full-on entertainment district with a 300-person event space. Rock Island Bridge is the first for-profit company invited to join the prestigious High Line Network, a working think-tank for America’s top infrastructure reuse projects.

About Unite Private Networks

Unite Private Networks (UPN) provides fiber-optic communications infrastructure services to schools, governments, carriers, data centers, hospitals, and enterprise business customers. Service offerings include dark and lit fiber, private line, optical ethernet, internet access, FiberVoice, DDoS Protection, Cloud Connect, SD-WAN, and other customized solutions. UPN currently serves over 300 communities across 21 states, with 12,000 fiber route miles and 9,500 end customer sites. UPN is also one of the largest providers of fiber WAN services to K-12 school districts in the U.S, serving more than 250 school districts, connecting nearly 2 million students. Headquartered in the Kansas City, Mo., metro area, UPN has been providing customer-focused communications solutions since 1998.