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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — The upgrade from copper lines to fiber-optic cable along with advanced switching equipment has been completed in Areas I and II.

The upgrades are part of a $250 million program at bases in South Korea and Japan to improve networks with equipment that will allow for better inventory tracking, distance learning, and paperless contracting, in addition to faster Internet access.

The project, called Installation Information Infrastructure Modernization Program Pacific, is led by contractors General Dynamics and Lucent Technologies.

The project “is invaluable to the warfighter,” Col. Ronald Bouchard, the 1st Signal Brigade commander, said in a military news release. “It provides large bandwidth to utilize technologies such as video conferencing and collaborative planning that will allow command posts and unit headquarters to virtually link with each other.”

The new lines also will support deployed commanders by upgrading the infrastructure used to connect forward-deployed forces with those in the rear, according to the release.

Command- and battalion-level buildings have been outfitted with fiber-optic networks that can expand to other buildings by branching off the network. The work has taken place at Yongsan Garrison and camps Red Cloud and Stanley.

Officials plan to switch to the new system this month. The change will be done incrementally during off-peak hours to minimize disruptions.

“In addition, [the project] enhances effective use of Army-wide, Web-based systems such as electronic commerce and paperless contracting,” said Charles Hink, lead project manager in the press release.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled for Friday at Camp Red Cloud.

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