Opelika prepares to be first Alabama city with fiber-optic ne - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Opelika prepares to be first Alabama city with fiber-optic network

"It's very convenient for channel flippers like I am," says Russell Jones, one of a few Opelika residents testing the City's new fiber-optic network.

The new system will allow residents to switch from their current provider to fiber optic, high-speed Internet, IP based television, and phone service through the city.

"The guide shows you what you're still watching in the background so you don't lose your picture when you pull up the guide, and also whatever channel you want to flip to it show you, and picture in picture of that channel," says Jones.

The City Council recently approved an agreement with EarthLink to act as a second carrier for the network.

"It's a redundancy in other words," explains Opelika Power Services Director, David Horton. "We already have a provider that provides broadband to us, and if we have an outage or a problem in the system, this just gives us another avenue to provide the service and keep it coming to our customers."

The project has been in the works since 2010, and when it is completed, Opelika will be the first city in Alabama to have a fiber-optic network.

"We're in the process of finalizing our packages and pricing, and we are going to be providing triple play, so that's exciting. We're going to be making history right here in Opelika, Alabama," says Horton.

As for Jones, he says he would recommend this new fiber to anyone in town.

"The biggest difference is the quality of service, the quality of not only the picture on the television, but the Internet itself is light speed."

Officials were not able to reveal an exact date of when the network will be released, but did say it would be "very soon."

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