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STATEWIDE Charlotte Region

Faster than Google's search

 
Earlier this year, Mountain View, Calif.-based Google announced it was considering installing its high-speed Google Fiber network in Charlotte and seven Triangle cities. Not to be outdone, Shelby-based RST Global Communications announced it already had activated a 3,100-mile underground fiber-optic network that spans the state and can provide broadband Internet service to businesses at up to 100 gigabits per second. The speed limit on residential service: 1 gigabit per second. RST runs fiber-optic cable to cell towers and installs wireless transmitters. Anyone within 1½ miles can receive a 1 gigabit connection. Wireless routers in offices and homes connect, expanding the network like a web. RST plans to introduce the service before July in Charlotte, followed by Raleigh and Asheville. Later, it plans to add video and television capabilities to the network. The company, founded in 2010 by three Cleveland County natives, has about 200 current customers, including data centers, health-care organizations, schools and universities.


 
 
 
Briefs

CHARLOTTE — Bank of America will pay $9.5 billion to resolve four lawsuits that allege the bank and subsidiaries Countrywide Financial and Merrill Lynch sold substandard mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac between 2005 and 2007. In a separate case, BofA will pay $783 million in fines and refunds to credit-card customers misled by deceptive marketing of its credit-protection and identity-theft products. The bank also raised its common-stock dividend to 5 cents a share in the second quarter, its first increase since slashing the payout to a penny in 2008.

CHARLOTTE — The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association has agreed to hold its annual basketball tournament here through 2020. The city, Mecklenburg County and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority will increase the annual financial incentive from $1 million to $1.4 million beginning 2015. Charlotte has hosted the tournament for the past nine years. The CIAA will also move its headquarters here from Virginia in 2016.

MATTHEWS — Family Dollar Stores cut 6% of the workforce — 135 jobs — at its headquarters here and will close 370 stores nationwide to reduce costs. The discount retailer employs more than 4,000 in North Carolina and about 61,000 nationwide.

CHARLOTTE — Thinkgate moved its headquarters here, relocating 70 employees from Atlanta and an operations center in Huntersville to a 21,000-square-foot office downtown. The education-software company will hire 75 to 120 workers over three years with annual salaries ranging from $50,000 to $200,000. It offers data-management software and customized tests for K-12 schools.

CHARLOTTE — The Daniels Company, a subsidiary of China-based Beijing Guohua Technology Group, will move its North American headquarters here from Bluefield, W.Va., and create 30 jobs in management, research and development. The company designs and builds coal-processing equipment and plans to open a manufacturing plant here.

CHARLOTTE — Park Sterling will buy Rock Hill, S.C.-based Provident Community Bancshares, holding company of Provident Community Bank, in a deal valued at $6.5 million. The combined company will have $2.3 billion in assets and 54 offices in the Carolinas, Georgia and Virginia. Pending stockholder and regulatory approval, the deal will close in the second quarter.