Allen in Nashville, IL says:

At this point, I am still at a loss to understand how the hundreds of millions being spent in the counties of Southern Illinois are going to help individual rural households. The president of the communications company in charge of the installation and start-up on the fiber optic system in my area actually laughed when I asked how long it would be before I, an individual living on Illinois State Highway 15 with the new fiber optic line literally buried in my front yard, would be able to get this new high speed internet service. After his chuckle, he said he wished this system could really help rural households, since he himself lived in a rural area, but the system is mainly being installed to connect rural towns and their respective schools and hospitals. Now of course he went on to explain that if some internet provider corporation wanted to buy the bandwidth at wholesale from his company, then I could get service from this new fiber optic system. Well, we have all heard these words before, "not economically feasible", the same words that I heard from Charter Cable when, in the same scenario, I asked about obtaining service but was told my home is too far away from the nearest patch in point, though their cable also runs directly through my yard on power poles. So, could someone please explain this to me, maybe tell me why I should not feel ripped off of my tax dollars, which are being spent to bring high speed service to areas that for the most part already have it. Don't believe me? Call your local school or hospital and ask them, (as I did), what kind of internet service they have.

« Return to all stories


Comments

9:24 AM
Jan 12, 2012
Barb says:

Hi Allen,

My name is Barb, and I work for Broadband Illinois/PCI. I live in rural Clark County and grew up on a farm here. My county has about 16000 people. Just 6 months ago I was finally able to get broadband speed at my home office. I feel your pain as it took a long time for it to get to my location.

I do not know exactly how the choices were made for the grant money, and I am sure it was not a perfect situation. I do know there were limited resources so hard decisions had to be made about who to connect along the way. Major institutions were first choice, such as schools and hospitals. Honestly, as you mentioned, several of those institutions may have had some type of service already. It could have been that they needed more speed than what was currently available to them; but I don't know each situation.

I do know that connection points are located all along the new fiber in order to allow private providers or even businesses to connect if they wished. That last mile that is still needed from the home to the connection point is where it gets difficult. A private provider has to make enough money off the investment to justify the cost to invest and distribute services to homes and businesses. Please know that it is not feasible for a resident to connect on their own.

We have the ICN grant build in our area, and I have many residents with the same situation as yours - the line literally goes right over their driveway, but will not connect them. I have a state rep who has it running across from his home, but it won't connect him. There is also a local billionaire that will have the fiber run over his estate entrance, but not connect him. Unfortunately for all of us, the technology demands more than just a simple water line type connection. Businesses or major institutions may be able to afford the needed connection and equipment, but not residents. So, it is dependent on providers to hook up groups of people, and that depends on if its financially feasible. Groups of people will likely be more successful in getting the attention of a provider.

Feel free to send me your address and I can see what options might be available in your area. Also, if you know of neighbors that would be interested, feel free to let me know. We can tell the providers for you so that they can consider the area. I am sorry that the line will not benefit you at the present time, but I am hopeful that some provider will find enough customers to provide service using the line.

Again, I am sorry that this is not a quick fix for you.

If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to email at barbara.webster@broadbandillinois.org


Share your opinion

Won't be displayed
Spam filter
Get involved

Sign up to help improve broadband in your area and throughout Illinois.

We'll send you information on ways to help.

Twitter

Follow us on Twitter

Better Broadband.
Better Lives.

Broadband Illinois has a 3-fold mission to: collect and publish broadband data, ensure broadband access throughout the State, and maximize broadband's impact.

Contact us

Partnership for a Connected Illinois 531 E Washington, 5th Floor Springfield, IL 62701 Phone: (217) 886-4228 Fax: (217) 718-4546 info@broadbandillinois.org