TROY — As a federally funded project headed by a local company nears completion in constructing a middle network with 595 miles of a new fiber-optic network, the company has been tasked with providing even more services to better position the region for future business and residential needs.
Troy Cablevision was awarded a more than $26 million grant in 2010 for the Southeast Alabama SmartBand Project, a fiber-optic network that provides a critical new broadband route between Pike, Crenshaw, Coffee and Dale counties.
Troy Cable Special Projects Director Jimmy Copeland said the project is on schedule for completion soon, with fewer than 30 miles remaining.
Copeland said a similar project is expected to cover another 47 miles. That project is the result of Troy Cable completing the initial project under budget, Copeland said.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to get even more completed,” Copeland said.
“By and large it’s been an ongoing process and also a slow process, but what we’ve basically done is steadily put up a majority of the fiber that has to be done. We’ve tried to target as much as we could, and areas and departments that might not have otherwise had service now have access.”
In addition to providing service to rural communities, Copeland said the advancement in the network places the region in a better position to compete with larger areas for businesses.
The project has also provided greater connectivity for local schools.
“From an economic development standpoint and a growth in industry, the project at present should change the location of our four counties and move them up the ladder,” he said.
Copeland said as many as six contractors and subcontractors have been employed for the project. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, those workers have included several underground crews, aerial crews, fiber splicers and construction inspectors.