Darren Doyle, story:
The Brownsville City Council has unanimously agreed to move forward with the KY Wired project involving South Central Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, or SCRTC. The city had a special called meeting on January 28, 2019 where 5 of the 6 city council members were present. All that were present voted to sign the agreement. The next meeting took place on Monday, February 4, 2019, where the second reading of the unanimous vote occurred.
City Councilman Greg Nugent said while the official signing has yet to take place, he said it's a matter of attorneys preparing documents and both parties getting together. Both parties have agreed to the language in the franchise agreement.
"The city wanted a commitment from SCRTC that they would provide service to Brownsville," said Nugent. "Once they agreed to that, then things started moving well."
SCRTC General Manager Jeff Eaton said that when the first attempt at signing a franchise agreement didn't work, they recommended for Brownsville to take Warren County's franchise agreement and mirror it, something Eaton said the city did.
"I think this franchise agreement will benefit the both of us," he said. "Once we sign the agreement, we'll start the prep work where the new fiber will come from the 101/31W area of Chalybeate Springs all the way into Brownsville."
Eaton said they try to bury as much of the cable on private-owned right-of-ways as possible, with others buried on state right-of-way. He said what goes into the city will be elevated on poles.
"We'll have to finish the project through the state KY Wired Project first, then look at building out from there."
While many county and city residents are looking for better internet service options, those options are not likely to be available anytime soon. Eaton said the entire process could take up to as much as 12 months, give or take, and of course much of it depends on the weather. He said the past 18 months have been the wettest he's seen in this business.
Nugent said once SCRTC agreed on the service to Brownsville, the rest of the franchise talk got on the same page quickly. Eaton said that there were major contrasts from what was in the Warren County contract versus what the city of Brownsville originally requested; however, both parties have moved past all that and are ready for the project to progress.
"We really appreciate how SCRTC has handled everything," Nugent added. "It's going to take a while, but we need this in Brownsville. We need more options here in Edmonson County. This won't guarantee service everywhere in Edmonson County, but it's a least a start. It's a win-win for everyone."