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Bringing fiber to Grayson: Council approves plan to support broadband in city limits

Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 People who live within the city limits of Grayson could have the opportunity to get fiber optic broadband delivered right to their door, with a plan approved by Grayson city council at their last regular meeting. 

Tim Williamson, director of operations for Kinetic by Windstream – Windstream’s reorganized fiber division – explained how his company could serve as the “last mile” of the KentuckyWired program to bring the opportunity for fiber internet service to every home within Grayson city limits. 

Windstream has some fiber customers within city limits already, he said. Business customers along US 60 were connected, and homes along the corridor also benefited from the infrastructure they built out for the business connections. But they could bring it to everyone in the city for as little as $250,000. Everyone in the eastern half of the county could have access for an investment of $8,000,000 – but that’s something the company would have to discuss with the county, Mayor George Steele told Williamson. He was intrigued, however, with the idea of providing access to everyone in the city. 

“It’s important to business,” Steele said of reliable high-speed internet service. “It’s important to all of us.”

He asked about the timeline if the city agreed to funding their share of the project – total cost for city coverage would be around $800,000, with Windstream covering $550,000 of the installation – and was told that though the timeline depends on the design, and the amount of “middle mile” wire to be laid, once the wiring began it would take “about 90 days” to complete a city size project. 

Williamson said they could build out and offer the opportunity for broadband to everyone in the county in less than a year. He said the city could also meet their share of funding through grants or other funding options. 

Steele, however, said the city may already have some funding available that could be used for digital infrastructure. 

Council moved to approve the plan to build out the city’s broadband infrastructure, contingent on the approval of funds for use on such a project. 

Costs for the broadband connection, once built out, would be “up to $79 per month” for “gig service” Williamson told council. 

In other action council heard from a Mr. Skyles, who expressed concerns about potential changes to zoning along U.S. 60. He said he was unaware of any rezoning until he received a letter in the mail about a change from residential to mixed business, and that he was not in favor of the rezoning. 

Steele listened to Skyles’ concerns but said it would be inappropriate for council to respond at this time. 

No action has been taken on rezoning yet. 

Council also moved to approve a motion to purchase a desktop computer and printer for the road department, to generate monthly reports, and moved to create one full time cleaning and custodial position to handle the city building and police department buildings. The new position will replace two part time positions. The previous part time custodian of the city building will receive the proper certifications to work in the police department and will take on the duties left open by the retirement of the police department’s part time custodian. 

Council also entered into the first reading of a new administrative hold ordinance, related to unpaid taxes, fines, or abatement costs. 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com.

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