Orange Beach commits $1 million for fiber internet if residents show enough interest

October 31, 2017
Orange Beach Neighborhood Teams for CenturyLink fiber project

Do you want faster internet - say upwards of 12 times faster for CenturyLink customers? It’s the type of speed that will allow you to stream high-definition videos with little to no delays and download movies, songs and TV shows in seconds.

Well, look no further.

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% 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% 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.”

In an informational video made for Orange Beach residents, CenturyLink Director of Corporate Strategy Trey Lutrick explained the basis and need for a grassroots campaign.

“We’re looking for 33% of Orange Beach residents to sign up on a pre-sale basis before we actually put investments in the ground,” Lutrick said in reference to the fiber-optic infrastructure.  

He went on to state that CenturyLink would enjoy participating in this project to bring faster broadband speeds to the area but they need to know there is interest from the residents. The residents, he said, are the focal, grassroots element to this.

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% 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.*

CenturyLink representatives will also be on hand at the Orange Beach Town Hall meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7 at the Event Center for sign-ups and questions.

‘FUTURE-PROOFING’ INTERNET

With Smart TVs, touchscreen refrigerators, Alexa telling jokes on Amazon Echos or Siri being at-the-ready on Apple devices, the so-called “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 gigabit per second in the Orange Beach area. Currently, CenturyLink offers speeds up to 80 Mbps (megabits per second) 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.  Join a neighborhood team today and help raise awareness.

The teams include (see attached map):

  • Team 1 in the northwest corner of the city.

  • Team 2 on the southwest corner on the beach.

  • Team 3 that blankets the north-south Hwy. 161 corridor and areas of Canal Road and Perdido Beach Boulevard.

  • Team 4 covering the area of Canal Road between Terry Cove and Wolf Bay.

  • Team 5 on the west side of Perdido Pass.

  • Team 6 covering Bear Point.

  • Team 7 on the east side of Perdido Pass to the Alabama-Florida state line.

The Orange Beach neighborhood teams include all areas on the island, south of the Intracoastal Waterway, except for Ono Island. Ono is part of unincorporated Baldwin County. At this point in time, the fiber project is not being offered in areas of the city north of the canal or on Ono Island.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For product information, pricing and frequently-asked questions, please visit centurylink.com/home/fiberhood/ or call 251-952-0114.

For project information, contact:

Carmen Butler, CenturyLink, 850-599-1821 or carmen.butler@centurylink.com.

Marc D. Anderson, City of Orange Beach Special Projects Coordinator, 251-597-2982 or manderson@orangebeachal.gov.

About the City of Orange Beach

The City of Orange Beach is a family-oriented, resort destination community located on the Alabama Gulf Coast in Baldwin County, Alabama. Incorporated in 1984, the city has grown as a premiere beach destination and fishing capital on the upper Gulf of Mexico.

About CenturyLink

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) is a global communications and IT services company focused on connecting its customers to the power of the digital world. CenturyLink offers network and data systems management, big data analytics, managed security services, hosting, cloud, and IT consulting services. The company provides broadband, voice, video, advanced data and managed network services over a robust 265,000-route-mile U.S. fiber network and a 360,000-route-mile international transport network. Visit CenturyLink for more information.

*CenturyLink also will refund the reservation fee to a resident if they ask to be removed from the program before fiber construction begins. To obtain the refund, residents must contact CenturyLink at the phone number provided to them. If the neighborhood goal is met, fiber installation has been completed, and the resident signs up for CenturyLink fiber service, the reservation fee will be credited to the resident’s CenturyLink account. If the resident participates in meeting the neighborhood goal but does not cancel the offer before fiber construction begins or does not sign-up for CenturyLink fiber service after fiber installation has completed, the reservation fee will not be credited or refunded.