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Top News Links: Thursday, June 8

Montgomery leaps ahead with internet exchange

Less than 18 months ago, Montgomery became home to the state’s only internet exchange (MGMix).  Montgomery leaders on Wednesday announced an upgrade the capacity of the MGMix to handle 100 Gigabits per second of traffic. Other announcements included new developments and a Montgomery Cyber Strategy plan fueled by unprecedented collaboration among business, military, government and universities. – News release

Austal role in new Navy frigate still on table

The Navy will begin exploring interest in its revamped frigate program soon, with the Program Executive Office for Littoral Combat Ships (PEO LCS) set to release a request for information (RFI) to industry by the end of the month. Rear Adm. John Neagley, who heads PEO LCS, told USNI News in a June 2 interview that changing strategies for the upcoming class of frigates – originally slated to be an improved version of one of the current LCS variants, but now will be selected through a full and open competition with newly written requirements – has created a “good competitive space” for designing and buying the new class of warship. – USNI

Ethics Commission: Site consultants aren’t lobbyists

The Alabama Ethics Commission this morning rejected its staff's opinion that site consultants for companies considering moving to Alabama are required under certain circumstances to register as lobbyists under the ethics law. The staff's opinion said the companies who hire the consultants to scout locations and incentive opportunities from Alabama governments would have to register as principals under the law. – AL.com

Publix plans to offer grocery deliveries from all stores

Publix, the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the U.S., and Instacart, the technology-driven, on-demand grocery delivery service, announced plans Wednesday to bring same-day grocery delivery to all Publix customers. Publix and Instacart joined forces to bring same-day grocery delivery to customers in July 2016 via delivery.publix.com and instacart.com. Since then, customers have embraced the service. – Tampa Bay Reporter

Wiregrass economy ready for State Games

The 35th Alabama State Games are one day away! This is the 3rd year the ASF Foundation is hosting the event in the Wiregrass, and since 2015 they have financially helped the community, both directly and indirectly. Wiregrass participation in the games ranges anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people over 23 different sports. – WTVY

Walker County facing same struggles seen in Jefferson

Walker County leaders are turning to Jefferson County for financial advice. Walker County is facing bankruptcy if the county can’t find a way to pay off nearly $1.5 million. The options are either make payments on the debt by February, or file for bankruptcy. Walker County commissioners are hoping to pass a one-cent sales tax to avoid the bankruptcy option. – WIAT

Amazon lowers Prime membership for low-income customers

Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance. The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. – APR

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