New fiber line to help local businesses
PBS Coals has partnered with Comcast for a new high speed Internet service in Somerset County. (May 1, 2013)
Comcast Business, a division of Comcast Cable, reports PBS Coals, Friedens, is using Comcast ethernet services to expedite the transfer of critical files to maintain the accuracy of its mining operations and to help ensure the safety of its approximately 650 employees in multiple locations across the county.
While the new fiber connection is critical to supporting PBS Coals' business, there is an added benefit to the broader community, as the investment to extend Comcast's fiber network to the company's locations means that other area businesses will now have access to a high-capacity, fiber network as well.
Joe Cabala, IT manager for PBS Coals, said the new connection is about 200 times faster than their former T1 Internet connection.
"Our engineering team spans two buildings, and with our previous T1 connection, transferring and editing our maps could take hours," Cabala said. "We looked at multiple providers to determine who could extend their fiber network to our location and offer us the speed, scalability and bandwidth we needed, and Comcast was the only one able to meet our expectations."
Nearly all of the organization's day-to-day business activities are dependent on 3D maps, which can be up to three gigabytes in size and must be constantly updated using AUTOCAD software to reflect the most accurate information on miner locations, drilling depths and safety hazards. As a result, each engineering team is tasked with transferring ever-changing files on a daily basis, which requires a sizable amount of bandwidth.
Comcast Business installed a 300-megabit per second (Mbps) ethernet private line (EPL) in Friedens, that now runs between PBS Coals' headquarters and its nearby operations building to support the energy company's high-bandwidth needs.
Comcast also deployed a 500 mbps ethernet dedicated Internet (EDI) at its headquarters as well, which allows employees to access the PBS Coals network from other connected locations while also improving online communication with its Russia-based parent company, Severstal.
"Now the files will transfer much quicker and save us a lot of time," Cabala said. He added the system also creates the ability for a central file location. "It just makes everything a little quicker between the sites and time is money so it's a big savings."
The fiber line runs between Friedens, where PBS is located, and the Blairsville office of Comcast.
We hope it helps a lot of other additional businesses in the area.
" We are pleased that we could help bring a high capacity fiber network to Somerset County through this partnership with Comcast Business Class. We hope more businesses throughout the county will take advantage of this opportunity," Hank Parke, director of public relations, said.
Founded in 1963 PBS Coals operates 10 coal mining and processing facilities throughout Somerset County and currently produces 3.3 million metric tons of raw coal for the electric power industry regionally and for the steel industry internationally.