Orange Beach, Florida, Commits $1 Million for Fiber Internet

  • CenturyLink
ORANGE BEACH, FL — As part of the City of Orange Beach and CenturyLink’s non-exclusive partnership to offer fiber internet in the city, residents have been showing support for the economic development initiative over the last two months by paying a $25 reservation fee, but much more awareness is needed to make it a reality.

To help simplify the process, the city has been divided into seven neighborhood teams. Each team needs 33 percent of its residents (minimum of 1000 across all seven teams) to express interest in the project in order for CenturyLink to proceed with the infrastructure investment. The total build-out cost of this fiber project, for all seven neighborhoods, will be approximately $22 million for CenturyLink.

Orange Beach’s initial commitment is $1 million; however, the city will not be obligated to release any economic development funds until the required resident threshold of 33 percent is met.

“After several years of seeking a communications partner to reach Orange Beach residents,” City Administrator Ken Grimes explained, “the City of Orange Beach Telecommunications Committee worked with numerous companies and found a great working relationship with CenturyLink, which presented a unique proposal to build out fiber to the city’s neighborhoods. Looking down the road 10 to 20 years, the ability of the current copper cables to handle any size broadband capacity is extremely limited and with a relatively small population like Orange Beach, Alabama it takes a significant investment on the part of all involved.”

Grimes added, “Orange Beach leaders know and understand that our unique coastal location and excellent quality of life are the driving force in the goal of attracting home-based businesses, professionals who work from home and, in general, a citizenry that has expressed the need for overall improvements to the broadband offering.”

Reservation Information
To show interest in CenturyLink’s fiber internet service, residents must sign up by paying a $25 reservation fee. The sooner residents sign up the quicker the 33 percent threshold can be met and the quicker construction can begin. Residents can call 251-952-0114 or visit centurylink.com/home/fiberhood/ for additional information and to make their reservation. If a neighborhood team doesn't meet its goal prior to the deadline of Sept. 1, 2018, CenturyLink will refund the $25 reservation fee to each team member.

Future-proofing the Internet

With Smart TVs, touchscreen refrigerators, Alexa telling jokes on Amazon Echos or Siri being at-the-ready on Apple devices, the Internet of Things will continue to transform our way of life and with that growth comes the need for a larger bandwidth, or more space, to allow faster internet service. With fiber, residents would be able to enjoy speeds up to 1 Gbps in the Orange Beach area. Currently, CenturyLink offers speeds up to 80 Mbps while 1 gigabit is 1000 Mbps, or 12 times faster.

For individuals who work from home as well, the opportunity fiber internet would provide cannot be understated. Fiber is key to future-proofing internet access as it can easily handle the future demands of having numerous connected devices in the home.

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