Vidalia fiber work progresses; Contractors complete phase of Internet project

Published 12:13 am Friday, December 26, 2014

VIDALIA — The work to install lines across the Mississippi River that will allow Vidalia to have high-speed Internet access is complete.

CableWorks of Baton Rouge has been installing fiber optic cable under the southern span of the U.S. 84 bridge across the river. The contractor was able to finish the project shortly before the holiday traffic started, Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said.

“I am amazed they were able to do it in a shorter time than we anticipated,” he said. “We are elated at the process that has been made by the Mississippi Department of Transportation and the contractor working with us.”

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The next step in the project will be to connect the fiber optic cable to a terminal on the Mississippi side of the river that will feed connectivity into Louisiana.

The installation is part of the broader Vidalia Broadband initiative, which has the goal of providing Internet speeds of 1 gigabyte per second to businesses, industry, schools and government buildings.

Copeland said he expects the infrastructure to be in place to provide access to the community’s businesses and public sectors within 8 to 12 months.

“I look forward to by the early fall having the majority of the business section hooked up,” he said.

The broadband initiative coincides with the construction of the Vidalia Technology Center, a $1.2 million project funded by a grant from the U.S. Commerce Department.

The VTC will house some of the broadband initiative’s infrastructure along with spaces for digital-market businesses.

The VTC will be located at the former site of the old City Hall on North Spruce Street. The former municipal building has been demolished to allow the construction of the center.