By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Grayson took the next step toward a fiber-optic future for the city with a check presentation ceremony to Kinetic last week. That check – for $250,000 – covers the city’s share of infrastructure investment needed to make the broadband initiative a reality.
Guest speakers from the company, the city, and even state senator Robin Webb and representative Patrick Flannery, voiced their support for the program which will give Grayson residents access to the fastest internet speeds available anywhere.
“This puts Grayson at an equivalent with Lexington, Frankfort, and Louisville,” said Windstream CEO Tony Thomas. “This is the best internet you can get right now. We’re building a fiber-based infrastructure. This is cutting-edge technology. So, Grayson will have a network, frankly, as good as any city in America.”
Thomas said the faster speeds could also bring job opportunities and growth to the city. With the speeds Grayson will, have, he said it opens the market to, “really any job, because so many jobs now are work from home.”
But you can’t even apply for those jobs if you don’t have broadband sufficient to handle the workload. Despite this, work-from-home opportunities are a growing sector of the job market, Thomas said.
“The biggest category of growth in the U.S. right now is work from home,” he continued. “It used to be you had to be in New York City or San Francisco to help your business succeed. You had to be there in that physical location. That’s not the world we live in now. You can be in Grayson doing anything across the board. Literally anything. You can be moving bits and bytes in New York City or Hong Kong from a home in Grayson. That’s the power of the internet and what gives Grayson; in terms of economic development, education, in healthcare. Now you can get the healthcare specialists anywhere, because you have the right type of internet connectivity that we’re building here through this partnership with Grayson.”
“You can’t live in the modern era without it,” Thomas said. “And by starting today, Grayson is ahead of a lot of communities across the country. We’re doing it earlier and faster than almost anyplace else across the country.”
Mayor George Steele said he was just as excited for the possible growth of tech industry jobs and remote work for Grayson residents, but also for what this upgrade means for existing businesses.
“(Existing businesses) have to have internet to connect to other vendors and sources of products to get into their business. Most of their ordering is online, so even if they’re on the internet searching for bargains… it makes the whole world accessible to them at their desk.”
And, he noted, it makes them accessible to the whole world as well.
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