Opelika city leaders expect to profit from telecommunications investment

OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The ribbon was cut in 2013 for OPS ONE, a fiber cable service that was part of the Opelika's $43 million dollar investment in Opelika Power Services.

About five years later, approximately 3,500  residential and business customers have signed on for the service.

However, due in part to the increasing subscriber cost to provide channels on the cable service, it's taking the city longer than expected to break even on the investment.

"We had projected to break even in five years, but we aren't going to make that," Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller said.

Fuller says the idea of this project from the beginning is to keep big business out and local business close to home.

"We're trending in the right direction. Our revenue from the last year was up $700,000 from the year before."

Opelika was the first city in Alabama to run fiber to homes and businesses through Opelika Power's newly available Triple Play package.

The citizens of Opelika own the telecommunication and power company and will reap the benefits when the business becomes profitable.

"When we become profitable, we will take that profit and put it into things that will benefit our citizens such as Opelika City Schools, streets, library, recreation, and public safety," Fuller said.

The city says typically for a telecommunication business it takes eight to 10 years to make money, although Opelika hasn't broken even yet city leaders believe it will happen in the coming years.

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