fiber-optic network

College Station is right in the middle of Texas — a few hours by car from Austin, Dallas and Houston and home to Texas A&M, a major research university. But if you're in the market for high-speed Internet access, College Station can feel like the middle of nowhere.

"It's been pretty bleak. You get too far from the university, and it's nothing," says Andrew Duggleby, co-founder of Exosent Engineering, a company that designs and builds tanker trucks for the oil industry.