Opelika residents vote "yes" to local cable company

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email | Twitter

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) -  It looks like the city of Opelika is getting into the cable business. This comes after Tuesday's vote that gave citizens the chance to say "yes" or "no" to Opelika officials starting their own cable company.

It's been an ongoing battle for the past year or so where the mayor and Opelika city council have wanted to provide residents with a cable service, that would compete with charter.

Tuesday, 18% of voters turned out to the polls and 62% of them said "yes" to the new plan.

The city would work with Alabama Light and Power to operate fiber optic telephone, cable and high speed internet.

After hearing the voting results, Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said this project will be one of the most significant things his council has done, "Because of what it will mean to our future, in particular with the high speed internet. Speeds of up to 150MB(megabytes) per second. That's going to be a calling card for high tech, high paying jobs and industry for Opelika."

Fuller adds after the vote the next step is developing specs for the project, taking bids, and setting a budget. Building of the new facilities to house the cable company could take up to two years.

A big concern for some residents, especially those who voted "no", was the smart grid that, but Mayor Fuller says he will address everyone's questions about that technology as the project gets underway.

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