Fiber Optics Project to Provide More Connectivity to Rural Areas


From the Victoria Advocate
By Jessica Rodrigo
Available online at the Victoria Advocate website

A statewide project will help boost the connectivity in the Crossroads once FiberLight finishes its work in the area.

The Georgia-based company is halfway through a four-year project to bring the rural areas in Texas to the forefront of connectivity, said Ron Kormos, president of Texas operations. FiberLight, with the help of contracted companies across the state, will have installed about 11,000 miles of fiber optics by the time the project is complete.

"This is one of the largest rural fiber projects in the United States," he said. "It's very important to the city of Victoria to have a fiber optic network connected to the entire state."

It's a $300 million project that he said employs about 500 people in the state of Texas. The project requires the fiber optic to be buried about four feet underground through Victoria. Work can be seen along U.S. Highway 77 north of Victoria.

FiberLight's work includes connecting its fiber optics to Verizon cell towers to improve service to its customers.

Once it's done, the area will have improved cell service, more bandwidth and eventually, through the addition of carriers or providers, lower pricing and more options for customers, Kormos said.

"It's designed to serve all the rural cell sites throughout the state of Texas but also to serve all the high-speed data needs for business," he said.

Dale Fowler, president of the Victoria Economic Development Corp., said he's not heard of any concerns about the area's connectivity from any of the plants or industrial businesses.

Victoria has been reasonably well-connected, he said, so he's not seen it as selling point to potential businesses yet.

"If there is an opportunity for us to increase our capabilities from a communications perspective and increase that bandwidth and create additional options for our industrial clients that we attempt to recruit to Victoria, then it can only be a plus," Fowler said.

He said he is interested to learn what other options might come to the area once the project is complete.

"We'll stay tuned to that," Fowler said.

When it's all said and done, Kormos said, businesses will start looking for a similar kind of connectivity. Companies might be scared to move into an area that doesn't have connectivity, he said.

FiberLight works with different companies across the country, including AT&T, Suddenlink and Verizon, he said, and it's not uncommon for companies to travel to the cities where their fiber optics run.

By the end of the third quarter, Kormos said, Victoria will be connected to Corpus Christi, Houston, San Antonio and Columbus.