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TMCNet:  Opelika Power Services testing fiber-optic network

[April 23, 2013]

Opelika Power Services testing fiber-optic network

Apr 23, 2013 (Opelika-Auburn News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- The city of Opelika may soon have the fiber-optic network they have the last couple of years investing in.

Opelika Power Services is currently testing various aspects of the network and are hopeful for a launch date sometime in the late spring or early summer. According to June Owens, manager of customer support at OPS, the release date will be largely dependent on what is found during the testing phase, specifically with cable and video capabilities. The network is termed as a triple-play system, which will utilize internet access, telephone service and cable.

"It's really a matter of finding what the issues are as they come up and having the time to fix them," Owens said.

Steve Harmon, director of OPS, said there are between seven to eight test sites in the city that are basic residences receiving these services. Throughout the trial run, OPS will monitor what services are working efficiently and which ones have problems that need to be fixed.

"We're getting feedback from those people and we are working on fine-tuning the system's channel configurations," Harmon said.

In addition, Harmon said the sites do not currently have phone capabilities included with the package and that the company is also working on internet issues as well.

"We don't want to launch the system commercially to the public until it's perfected," Harmon said. "That's kind of where we are." The city first started researching the feasibility of a triple-play fiber network as early as 2008 before it was voted on and passed in August 2010. In that time, the city entered in a bond of $41 million for the project, which entailed the construction of a facility for the network as well as a satellite building. The network will be monitored through smart grid technology, which will effectively gauge how much energy a residence is using.

Upon completion, Opelika will be the first city in the state to have a fiber-optic network. OPS currently has a coverage area of roughly 12,000 homes.

___ (c)2013 the Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.) Visit the Opelika-Auburn News (Opelika, Ala.) at www.oanow.com Distributed by MCT Information Services

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