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Project bringing fiber-optic technology to Charleston

(courtesy MGN Online)
(courtesy MGN Online)(KCRG)
Published: Mar. 25, 2016 at 6:16 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new project is about to get underway that will bring fiber-optic technology to downtown Charleston and South Charleston.

Alpha Technologies is behind the $5 million project that will install a 35-mile fiber-optic ring into downtown Charleston, delivering gigabit Ethernet to the area. It’s a service that’s currently available in only about 25 cities east of the Mississippi.

The project will increase service for 22 sites in the city, including City Hall and the Charleston Civic Center.

“It will allow the sites we already have connectivity to, to greatly increase their bandwidth, so the workers will be more productive,” said Peter Gallo, director of Information Systems with the city of Charleston. “And it will do it for less money, which is win-win all over the place.”

The technology will provide Internet at about 300 times faster speed than regular high-speed Internet. It is also more reliable for customers.

"We're building this fiber as a ring. Which means, if it were to be accidentally cut at one point, the services simply go in another direction,” said Charlie Dennie, director of Special Projects with Alpha Technologies. “All of the construction is going to be underground, so we’re not subject to the same kinds of environmental problems that above ground cable has. We’re talking about snow storms, high winds, excessive rains, traffic accidents. We’re pretty much immune to that.”

The service will not be available to residents, but businesses will be able to buy in to the technology.

Construction is expected to begin within 45 days, and it will last three to six months.