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City, district connect with fiber optics

ARLINGTON Arlingtons future is going fiber optic, according to city of Arlington Capital Projects Manager Paul Ellis.
Ellis explained that the city of Arlington and the Arlington School District are working together to connect city and school district facilities with fiber optic cables by taking advantage of planned construction projects.
Right now, were using dedicated T-1 phone lines which are expensive and not as fast as is standard for today, Ellis said. When a customer comes into the utilities office to look at a map, we want them to be able to pull up the exact same version thats on file at our other facilities. With fiber optic lines, we can transfer those files between buildings.
Although the most recent stage of the fiber optic conduit installation is taking part as part of the North Olympic Avenue Reconstruction Project, Ellis noted that these installations began roughly five years ago and estimated that theyre two-thirds complete.
It started with our project on 67th Avenue and weve pieced it together from other road projects since then, Ellis said. Wed like to get the piece to utilities next year and one to the airport by the end of 2009. Because were scheduling these installations into projects that already exist, the cost is negligible.
Ellis believes that such fiber optic connectivity will allow facilities to keep up with evolving technologies, and even suggested the possibility of installing wireless hot spots, such as in the lampposts on Olympic Avenue, which would be able to connect to the fiber optic network.

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