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County Gets Update On Internet Expansion Project

Image: 4028mdk09 via Wikimedia Commons.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The Mercer County Fiscal Court received an update on efforts to provide broadband internet service to unserved residents.
At their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27, Phillip Brown, director of government affairs for Kentucky. for All Points Broadband, introduced himself to the magistrates and discussed the effort to provide fiber internet service to 3,300 locations not currently being served.

Brown said the project to “provide broadband to people who don’t already have it,” involves hanging more than 300 miles of fiber, and is projected to cost more than $26 million, with $15 million coming from the state, $9.5 million from All Points and $1.5 million from the county. The fiscal court voted to join the project more than a year ago.

Brown said All Points received a draft contract from the state last month, and he said the company is currently looking over the contract. He said the contract must be finalized before they can begin engineering and network design.

“There’s an engineering project for every single pole,” Brown said. “Once we get to the fiber hanging, project it goes pretty quick.”

All Points has already started contacting pole owners, which include Kentucky Utilities, Windstream and the Kentucky Electrical Co-op.

“We’re already starting the process,” Brown said. “We’re trying to do the work we can before we get the contract in place.”

“I appreciate the update,” said Judge-Executive Sarah Steele. “I get a lot of calls.”

All Points will create a database where people can enter their address. Brown said it could start shortly after the contract is finalized.

Magistrate Tim Darland asked about the time frame on the contract. Brown said the deadline was 90 days.

“There are some things we will ask that they add,” Brown said. He declined to provide details.

“When will actual work start?” Darland asked.

Brown said he would get back to the fiscal court. Judge Steele said it could be a two year project when work begins.

Residences being served by DSL would not be eligible to be served by the new program.

“We’re going to pass a lot of locations that might not be served with that 3,300,” Brown said. He said there were opportunities to expand beyond the original list.

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