Fiber optics is a competitive advantage

By Staff
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
Yesterday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby announced that the Appalachian Regional Commission would release $168,000 to the Franklin County Commission to extend its telecommunications infrastructure.
This may sound like a lot of legal jargon that really won't affect Joe Citizen, but it's an important step for the continued development of Franklin County.
Industrial recruitment is competitive and every little advantage you can offer is huge.
In this case, the money will allow the Franklin County Commission to install seven miles of fiber optic telecommunications lines to the Franklin County Industrial Park, where it will serve two sections of the park and several small businesses nearby.
Fiber optics is cutting edge technology. I would equate offering fiber optic capabilities now to what the Internet would have been 20 to 25 years ago.
Back in the early and mid-80s, the Internet was the great unknown, but now you can get it in any business or home and in many cases you can latch on to the Internet in fast food joints while you eat your lunch.
The installation will serve approximately 20 to 25 businesses and about 765 employees. The total estimated cost of the project is about $210,000.
That's a substantial investment but one that could pay off ten fold in the months and years down the road.
Mitch Mays, Executive Director of the Franklin County Development Authority, and the county's Industrial Development Board have a prime opportunity to make some big things happen in attracting a major job provider to the area.
The purchase of acreage near the airport, and its proper development, could all but insure that the next business boom that happens in Alabama will happen in Franklin County.
Attracting industry to your area is a lot like selling a car. The buyers, in this case the industry, want the most bang for their buck. They want the leather interior and chrome wheels you get on a 2007 Corvette but they only want to pay for a bombed out AMC Pacer.
With yesterday's release of government funding, and Franklin County's commitment to match the funds, the county just installed CD player in its car.
As the development of the land progresses, and word gets out about the amenities that it offers, Franklin County's Corvette won't be on the market for long.