Fiber optic network to provide faster internet for Sequatchie, Bledsoe counties
A new fiber optic network will change the way two Tennessee Valley counties get online.
It’s already up and running in some parts of Sequatchie and Bledsoe counties.
The Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative said the work is far from over, but people Channel 3 spoke with said it's a welcome addition.
Crews in Dunlap are busy building a fiber optic network. By the end of the year, the entire city will have access to it.
"This is huge for our community and our town, so it's very exciting,” Denisea Mann, a store owner said.
Mann owns Natural Affinity Soap. She said faster internet will make a big difference for her business.
"Quicker transactions through running our credit cards and also being on the internet for our online business and communication, it'll just be a lot quicker,” Mann said.
The co-op was approved for $7.8 million.
"We knew that we needed to move forward and be able to provide 1 gig and higher speeds for our future,” Matthew Boynton, Chief Engineer for the Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative said.
Boynton said more people are working from home and streaming more than ever.
Mann hopes to have it installed at her home soon.
“When I'm watching my shows on Netflix or even on the internet at home, it is lagging for so long, I just shut it off,” Mann said.
The goal is for those problems to go away.
"We hope to see something we've never thought of be able to come from this,” Boynton said.
Boynton hopes having fiber optic service will encourage growth in the area.
"We also hope in our rural community if we build it, they will stay,” Boynton said.
The plan is for the co-op's entire service area to have fiber optic service across Sequatchie and Bledsoe counties in the next five to seven years.
Rates start at $60 per month.
The co-op will use that money to pay back its 17 year loan.