Texas-based NTS Inc. has broken ground on its high-speed Fiber-To-The-Premise (FTTP) network in southern Louisiana, which eventually will include Hammond, Ponchatoula, Natalbany, Tickfaw, Independence and Amite — approximately 11,500 FTTP passings.

The new network, funded by more than $36 million in federal stimulus grants and loans, will include a WiMAX service extension overlay to bring advanced broadband services to towns in the St. Helena, Washington and Tangipahoa Parishes.

NTS Inc. (formerly known as Xfone Inc.) provides high-speed broadband services to residential and business customers in northern Texas and southeastern Louisiana. It currently has operations in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana; and it also serves customers in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

The carrier also says it’s connected its first customers in the Texas towns of Wilson and Meadow. Its FTTP network also serves Lubbock, Levelland, Smyer, Wolfforth, Littlefield, Burkburnett, Brownfield, Whitharral and Slaton.

In separate but related news, Mass.-based CapeNet LLC will work with Ciena Corporation and Integration Partners (a secure network communications integrator and a Ciena BizConnect partner) to provide coherent optical transport and Carrier Ethernet solutions for the 350-mile fiber optic OpenCape Network now under construction in southeastern Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.

CapeNet is managing construction of the OpenCape Network, which is on target for completion by January, 2013. CapeNet will provide a portfolio of high-speed, business broadband services over the new fiber network.  Ciena’s coherent optical processing lays the foundation to increase network bandwidth from 10G to 100G and beyond, CapeNet notes.

Funded through a Broadband Technology Opportunity Program (BTOP) infrastructure grant as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act , the OpenCape Network aims to support regional businesses, government, education, libraries, research institutions, hospitals and public-safety first responders.

On Cape Cod, the network will provide high-speed broadband connectivity to approximately 70 community anchor institutions, including 30 libraries, five colleges, 15 town network hubs and six research institutions. Throughout its entire footprint the network offers further opportunities to hundreds of additional anchor institutions and nearly 62,000 businesses.

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