College Station Makes New Focus on Fiber To Attract Faster Internet

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas Affordable high speed fiber internet is coming to places like Austin, and possibly to Bryan - College Station as the College Station City Council continues on a plan to lure private development here.

The City of College Station is making the city's fiber optic system a new focus.

Fiber internet is available in some parts of are area but can cost hundreds of even thousands of dollars a month.

The City of College Station is now looking at options to possibly lease out some of the fiber they aren't already using.

James Benham has a passion for information technology.

He owns JB Knowledge, an IT company in Downtown Bryan, and is also a College Station City Council Member.

He says a fiber future will make work and play much better.

"I want to be able to Skype with my kids. I want to be able to Facetime with my grandkids. I want to be able to stream Netflix. What happens when Netflix starts streaming 1080 p content?," he said.

Thursday night the council directed staff to study options for attracting private development of an ultra high speed network for Bryan - College Station with connections up to 20 times faster than we have now.

"This wasn't ordinance or law. We didn't spend any money or buy anything, but we did say is that fiber optic and ultra high speed telecommunications is really important to the City of College Station," he said.

College Station already has more than 170 miles of fiber connecting things like traffic signals, city facilities and fire stations.

Options include allowing a private company to lease out unused fiber already on the ground, enabling the roll out of a high speed network to happen faster. They also want to consider laying more fiber for major roadway construction projects when things are already dug up.

"You have a light source at one end and it sends that light through the glass tube and out the other end and that's how you send information using fiber optic," said Ben Roper, College Station Information Technology Director.

"Think of it as a highway where your copper could be a two lane highway and the fiber is an eight lane freeway as far as from a capacity of information," Roper said.

The Research Valley Technology Council and city are asking for requests for information from companies interested in developing the network.

We're told Suddenlink has attended meetings and expressed an interest while Verizon is not.

Once it's built prices for you and me could be in the neighborhood of $100 a month for internet and TV.

Developers are hopeful the ultra high speed internet could come our way as fast as the next year and a half.