PHARR, Texas – The City of Pharr’s eagerly anticipated, blazing fast, fiber internet service will be available in neighboring cities in the not too distant future.
This was confirmed by the city’s information technology director, Jose J. Peña, at last week’s “Bridge Connect” seminar, hosted by the Pharr Bridge Board and held at the Pharr Development & Research Center in south Pharr.
Peña was asked to give an update on the TeamPharr.net project to the customs brokers, trucking company owners, and import-export specialists in the audience. He said the super fast broadband service was currently being offered to residents in south Pharr at a very reasonable price but would soon be available to businesses throughout the city as well.
In the Q&A afterwards, an international news service publisher whose headquarters are in McAllen said he was envious of those companies based in Pharr.
“Can you please extend your fiber lines into McAllen or do I have to move our company to Pharr?” the businessman asked.
Peña responded: “We would love to have you build your company in Pharr and receive direct services from us. But, we plan to extend beyond our city limits. Our strategic plan just got published a couple of months ago. Our goal is to go over to four additional cities within the next three years.”
Peña continued: “But, right now we are still under construction in Pharr. It is already happening here in South Pharr. But the goal is to expand our network outside of our city limits as well as make partnerships with other cities.”
The internet news service publisher was thrilled with what he heard. “This will be a game changer. We need the fastest service on offer and it is not available where we are in McAllen. Thank you, City of Pharr.”
Peña said a number of other cities are considering introducing their own fiber internet service. He said Pharr is ready to work with those communities neighboring the city.
“You saw recently, Harlingen did a study. Brownsville as well. But again, we are kind of the first to market with this. This is the largest municipal owned and operated network in the state so we are working with a lot of industrial suppliers. But, yes, the goal eventually is to work with other cities directly as well as school districts.”
Peña then explained the speed of the broadband on offer.
“For residential, we only have two plans but it is 500 megabytes up and down. We don’t shortchange you there like everybody else on your uploads. Again, 500 megabytes up and down, $25. A gigabyte to your house, $50.”
Peña said the same concept will apply to the business community.
“They could be small suites like a restaurant or office spaces that are typical home type of setups but then obviously there are larger facilities with their own network in place. We can go up to a gigabyte, but if a customer requires two, five, or ten gigs, we have capacity for that,” Peña said.
“We are all 100 percent underground fiber infrastructure, which is why you see a lot of work being done down here. Our project is moving up north. We wanted to start in south Pharr because our big industrial segment is here.”
Peña started his remarks by explaining the project, just in case any of the business men and women in the audience had not heard about it. He was accompanied by a power point presentation that gave details of speeds and prices on the TeamPharr.net website.
“I wanted to make you all aware that the City of Pharr became an internet service provider this year so we are actually now delivering fiber to the home. Nobody else is doing it here in the Valley. We will be the first one to deliver fiber to the home. We have actually already started with residential here in south Pharr. You will start hearing more about us because we want to now market to the commercial sector,” Peña said.
“We have a full service offering. This is our website: TeamPharr.net. You will kind of see a little bit of what we have to offer. It is more tailored to the residential customer, but again, you can sign up and reserve a spot, to be on our list. Just follow the web link there. Fill out the information.”
Peña said the Pharr IT department definitely wants to hear from the commercial sector.
“We are very interested in the commercial sector. We know, obviously, that commercial internet services are a little more expensive. Our cost is a lot more affordable. Again, this will be a true fiber to your business. Again, we have our rates, if you click on the second link, the Ultimate WiFi Experience link, you can kind of see some of our rates. And then you scroll down a little bit on the commercial offerings.”
Peña said discounts were also available to residential customers.
“If you live in Pharr, please sign up, $25. You have a student at home, goes to school, a free school lunch, we are already approved for the affordable connectivity program by the government so it is basically free,” he said.
Pointing to his power point presentation, Peña said: “Here is the small business plan for $100 and then right below it are enterprise funds. So, we have three different enterprise plan options based on the need. Obviously, we might see some businesses, larger warehouses that might need more connectivity and again, those can be discussed and negotiated with us.”
He added: “I just want to make you all aware, again, that the City of Pharr is now an Internet Service Provider and we are going to provide 100 percent connectivity to every single property within the city of Pharr. And we are already connecting here in south Pharr.”
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