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story.lead_photo.caption A CableOne technician earlier this year working in an alley in downtown Texarkana. Staff file photo by Les Minor

TEXARKANA — Internet service provider Sparklight is preparing to offer a high-speed fiber optic network to Texarkana businesses.

Branded Piranha Fiber, the new service is expected to be available in 2021 and promises both upload and download speeds of 5 gigabits per second, according to a company spokesperson.

"We are pleased to bring advanced technology typically found only in larger metropolitan areas to Texarkana," vice president of business services Chris Boone said.

The first phase of building out Sparklight's fiber optic network is expected to be completed this summer in Nash, Texas, to serve Alumax Mill Products and the city's industrial park.

Other phases will be in the major business areas of both Texarkanas, including Richmond Road, Summerhill Road, State Line Avenue, Texas Boulevard, Arkansas Boulevard and Jefferson Avenue.

Sparklight, formerly CableONE, estimates that its new fiber optic cables will last at least 25 years but says it is constantly upgrading its network and infrastructure, including investments of more than $10 million in Texarkana and surrounding areas over the past five years.

In addition to allowing the uploading and downloading of large files quickly, the service is marketed as ideal for voice and video conferencing.

Piranha Fiber will not be available to residential customers.

Sparklight serves more than 900,000 customers in 21 states, according to the company.

For more information, visit online.

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