OPELIKA, AL (WSFA) - The city of Opelika has entered into an agreement to sell its fiber telecommunication assets and operations, OPS One, to Point Broadband, a West Point, Georgia, company for just over $14 million.
“So, they are buying this company and I think they will do great things for it," said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller. "I think we’ve accomplished what we wanted to accomplish. We wanted to bring competition and we did.”
The city of Opelika, though, will maintain its electrical smart grid assets and continue to provide power services to business and residents through Opelika Power Services.
Mayor Fuller said even though the city will still be in debt after the transaction, they’re expected to break even in the long run.
"Our total debt was a little over $21 million. We will get $14.1 million cash at closing. We will use $13.5 million of that to eliminate the Regions debt. The balance of that we will apply to the internal debt and that internal debt will be paid off over a period of time as we do revenue sharing with broadband,” said Fuller.
We’re told that a lot of this transition is just going to be rebranding. Employees are going to stay the same and customers will be paying the same rates, however, since Point Broadband is privately owned, that’s going to give the company room to expand.
“Everything we did cost wise we had to take to the city council and they had to approve it,” said Fuller. “Plus, city limits will not mean anything to them [Point Broadband], so they can go to Auburn and we have folks in north Auburn begging to be on our fiber and our service and now they’ll be able to do that.”
The transaction is expected to close on Nov. 8.
OPS One’s launch in 2012 made Opelika Alabama’s first “gig-city.”