Sears’ future could include consuming fiber

…Sears has a new strategy to convert some shuttered underperforming stores into data centers.

The prospects for adaptive reuse warrants further investigation in the south suburbs.

In the case of Sears in Calumet City or Kmart in Homewood, it could mean transitioning from retail to data storage facilities.

The Southland is positioning itself with a proactive joint venture involving Illinois, Cook County, South Suburban Mayors and Managers Association and its client communities. Together, they have formed the Chicago Southland Fiber Network, using a state Jobs First grant building about 70 miles of fiber optic infrastructure along the Interstate 57 corridor to serve Chicago Southland communities.

According to project coordinator, Rusty Winchell, SSMMA has placed more than 27 miles of 144 strand fiber, duct and supporting structures parallel to I-57 between 95th Street in Chicago and Offner Road, south of Monee, since receiving the grant in February 2012. That required right of way access and construction authorization from 15 different municipal, county and federal agencies and approval from five separate railroad entities….

Please click here to read the full editorial in the Times.

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