Getting Up To Speed In Fiber Optics

The Baby Bells talk a lot about building "information superhighways," but a small company in suburban Chicago is actually doing it. Metropolitan Fiber Systems of Oakbrook Terrace, Ill., stole a march on the seven phone companies on Aug. 20 by announcing a service that can carry data between customers' computers at up to 100 million bits per second.

That's more than twice the rate available from local phone companies. Metro Fiber says the service, which could be used for such applications as sending medical diagnostic images between hospitals, is available only in Houston. But in the next year, it will be rolled out to 10 more cities where it has fiber-optic networks.