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The Herald Journal (Logan, UT)
Fiber optic line will be extended to Preston
Article Date: December,3 2006 by Kelly Hafen, Staff Writer for Herald Journal

Fiber optic line will be extended to Preston

A line of fiber optic cable spanning nearly 20 miles between Downey and Oxford could be extended into Preston as soon as July.

Direct Communications will be installing an estimated 18 miles of optical fiber from Oxford into the Preston area, said Garrin Bott, a manager of Direct Communications. Construction on the line will begin in the spring of 2007, depending on the amount of time it takes to obtain rights of way, he said. Bott estimates the installation of the cable will cost the company between $20,000 and $30,000 per mile of fiber.

Bott said the new line of fiber optics will give telephone, cable and Internet companies the option of leasing the line and providing broadband to their customers. By replacing the copper lines with fiber cable, more information can be transferred to Preston residents in less time, Bott said.

"Fiber is becoming the industry standard when you are trying to transport (information)," Bott said.

Optical fiber was first developed for communication in 1970 and has become increasingly more common since that time, according to wikipedia.com. The cable, made of hair-sized strands of glass, improves clarity and bandwidth in the process of transferring information.

Direct Communications, which provides service to several small communities in Southeastern Idaho, will most likely be leasing space from the fiber optic line to Qwest which Bott said is nearing storage capacity on its copper lines.

"Qwest is trying to find ways to get additional broadband into the community of Preston because their plant is nearly maxed out," Bott said.

The Preston line will be extended from the Oxford line which was recently laid by Direct Communications with the help of a $190,000 grant.

Cache Valley received its second fiber optic line in 2005 when Comcast completed the $1.5 million project that brought high definition television and ON DEMAND service into the area on a 23-mile interconnect. The first cable was introduced in 1992 by Qwest.

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