Opelika's fiber optic network nearing completion

Published: Jun. 13, 2013 at 1:27 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 26, 2013 at 5:16 PM EDT
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OPELIKA, AL (WTVM) - The City of Opelika is one step closer to completing the much anticipated citywide fiber optic network.

In a special meeting Tuesday morning, city council approved a resolution to award a contract to On Trac Inc., of Tennessee, to install network equipment.

"They are being contracted to be our third party install vendor, so they will be out installing the optical network terminals on the side of the houses, changing meters for our smart grid applications and actually training customers on the project." explains Manager of Fiber Services, Craig Uptagrafft.

Once fully operational, the network will allow residents to switch from their current provider to fiber optic, high-speed Internet, and crystal clear, IP based television through the city.

This $41 million project has been five years in the making and has hopes of bringing big industry to town.

"From an economic development perspective, we're hoping to attract more of that high tech industry because the fiber is limitless on bandwidth so we can attract higher paying jobs," says Uptagrafft.

Costs and fees of services are still being discussed.

Test trials are being conducted with customers now. These homes have had no complaints and recommend others to make the switch.

"We are a department of the city so the dollars that you pay us for the services stay local, they go back into the community here," explains Uptagrafft.

City officials are hoping to have the new network completed late summer, early fall.

Opelika will then be the first city in Alabama to have a fiber-optic network.

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