WHITEMARSH ISLAND, Ga. (WSAV) — A massive project is underway to install fiber lines underground in several communities in the Coastal Empire. 

Clearwave Fiber has installed roughly 30 miles of fiber lines in the greater Savannah area so far this year, and the company plans to put in about 15 more miles over the next several months.

“The need for connection is now more important than ever,” said John Robertson, the systems general manager.

A sign is popping up in neighborhoods across the Coastal Empire letting people know about a new internet option, all-fiber internet.

“We’re covering as much of Savannah as possible,” Robertson said.

Unlike standard powerlines, fiber lines are installed underground. Crews have to pull up pieces of grass to put the lines in place and once crews finish up, residents can decide whether they want to opt-in.

“We are using 100% fiber so it’s giving residents faster speeds, more reliable service because there’s less opportunity for failure with the delivery method we use,” Robertson said.

Clearwave Fiber has been serving businesses in Savannah for more than a decade but over the last few years the company has worked to expand into residential communities.

“Bringing it to the home has been a little bit more of a recent phenomenon,” Robertson said. “The cost of constructions came down, the cost of supplies has come down, and so it’s become a little bit more accessible for everybody to get it in their home.”

As costs went down, demand went up, and when the pandemic hit, the need for reliable internet became greater than ever. 

“That’s where we kind of followed the demand and a lot of our first residential expansions were following the demand of our business customers saying, I have employees that need to be serviced at home and it really worked out well and that’s everything from small businesses all the way up to large school systems,” Robertson said.

And with more areas of coverage and new customers coming in, the company said this expansion is also creating jobs in the Savannah area.

“Our company Clearwave has already added over 300 jobs this year, directly impacting Savannah,” Robertson said. “We anticipate adding more people this year than we ever have before.”

Already the company says it’s invested about $10 million in expanding Savannah’s internet options.