November 02, 2013
Dark Fiber Week in Review
By Ed Silverstein
It was a busy week in the Dark Fiber sector. Here are some of the major stories.
Michelle Nicolson reports how a grant from the federal Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC) will fund new, high-speed telecommunications fiber-optic infrastructure in New York State. It will help to expand economic opportunities in the town of Ogdensburg. The Ogdensburg Bridge and Port Authority (OBPA) will use the grant money to install high-speed telecommunications fiber-optic lines in its Commerce Park light industrial park.
In another story, Northwest Open Access Network (NoaNet), a not-for-profit mutual corporation providing wholesale telecommunications transport in Washington State, announced how there will be a total of 1,600 miles of fiber optic cable to rural and less-populated areas throughout the state. This technology will bring faster Internet access to public and private organizations in the state including schools, libraries, and law enforcement agencies.
It was also reported how even though fiber optic cables are more reliable than copper wires, they are not devoid of problems. Recently, the residents of Bitteroot Valley in western Montana faced a problem. They had a complete communications blackout when a contractor accidentally cut off the main cable that connected Florence and Hamilton. As a result, phone, Internet and banking services were shut down in the counties of Stevensville and Darby for about five hours. This disruption affected the lives of the residents of these counties in a big way. The biggest impact of this shutdown was the disruption of the 911 service.
Also, Mandira Srivastava reported how FastTrack Communications, a Durango, CO-based regional fiber optics transport company, built a multi-year fiber optics cable that will provide high speed broadband connectivity to residents of Bayfield. The Bayfield School District will be the first to enjoy the increased bandwidth from the initiative. This new broadband connectivity will boost the learning experience of the students.
And Google (News - Alert) Fiber’s high-speed Internet service is set to arrive in Austin, Texas, next year, and one local university is already hoping to benefit from free community access. St. Edwards University – a private, Catholic college located in Austin – submitted an application to become a Community Connection when Google Fiber launches its service in the area. Schools, libraries, community centers and other public facilities are commonly selected to become part of the Community Connections program. If chosen, St. Edwards would receive free Google Fiber service on its campus for the next 10 years.
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