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[October 16, 2013]
Opelika council approves rates for newly launched fiber-optic network [Opelika-Auburn News, Ala.]
(Opelika-Auburn News (AL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Oct. 16--Applause emerged from the audience Tuesday as the Opelika City Council approved rates for services related to the city's new fiber-optic system, which is the first smart grid system in the state to incorporate video, voice and data.
On Tuesday, the council approved monthly rates and charges for the smart grid system provided by Opelika Power Services, which provides high-speed internet, high-definition television and telephone services for customers enrolled in the service.
Although services can be purchased individually, bundling packages range from $99.95 per month, which includes the basic essential services, to $154.85 per month, which includes the premium package of each service. Further price information can be viewed at OPS' website at www.opelikapower.com or by calling 705-5170 for enrollment.
Mayor Gary Fuller called the network launch a significant moment for Opelika.
"This is going to put us on the map like never before," Fuller said.
Fuller commended the council and OPS staff for their collaboration in the project. The council first began researching the system in 2008 before it was approved during a special election in August 2010.
"We were all in this together from the get-go and we'll be the first municipally owned utility in the state of Alabama to build a fiber to the home system," Fuller said.
Following the meeting, OPS Director David Horton said he was excited about the opportunities the network will provide to customers.
"The first thing that you want to look at is that this is history in the making and it's all been because of the foresight of the mayor and council over the years," Horton said.
Horton said since becoming OPS director in June, the majority of his work has been focused on making sure all components of the system worked correctly prior to launch.
"For the last four months, we've been trying to pull the team together, focus on the project at hand and culminate the situation," Horton said.
Although there is more work to be done on the system in the coming months, Horton said he is glad the system can be launched now.
"We are at a point where we can offer it to the community and we are excited about that," Horton said.
The city of Opelika invested $41 million in the project, which included the construction of the new OPS building. The project will be funded through revenue warrants and through a line of credit.
___ (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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