Telecommunications company to provide high speed internet service in unserved area near McCool Junction

YORK COUNTY – Last year, the York County Commissioners signed a letter of support as part of Glenwood Telecommunications’ grant application, as the company sought funds toward offering high speed internet service in an unserved area near McCool Junction. This week, company representatives were back before the county board to announce the grant was approved and the project is moving forward.

Allison Fritsche, representing Glenwood, told the commissioners the company greatly appreciated the county board’s support for their grant application and they were excited to announce “53 locations (residences) will have the opportunity for high speed internet they haven’t had to date. The grant was awarded Jan. 9 and we have 18 months to complete the project. We will speak with those residents about their opportunities and we will keep you updated on the progress of the project.”

Company representative Jennifer Reiman said the project is at the point of soliciting contractors. She reiterated what Fritsche said about reaching out to the residents in that area, “about new fiber accessibility and at some point, we’d like to have a groundbreaking event.”

Fritsche also noted the company will again be applying for another grant, to do more fiber installation in unserved areas of York County, and they will again be asking for the county board to sign a letter of support.

“This is something the county would like to participate in, in extending fiber throughout the county, through the use of ARPA (federal COVID relief) funds,” said Commissioner Chairman Randy Obermier. “You guys (Glenwood) are working now across the state and the fact you want to serve this part of the county is great, something we’d like to continue throughout the county.”

The commissioners also asked them to clarify that the fiber installation is “direct bury,” rather than aerial (connected above ground, such as being installed on power poles).

Reiman said yes, that would be the case. “It will be buried in this project, which is what we prefer to do because it is better for the network itself.”

Obermier said the new fiber network in York County will enter from Glenwood’s connection in Fillmore County, go toward the Sacks Lake area and then move toward McCool Junction.

“All these locations, all 53, are currently unserved locations,” Reiman stressed. “That is our priority, to bring high speed internet service to places where people are not being served now. That is also why we have been successful with our grant applications.”

It was also noted that this latest grant application to serve these homes near McCool was not contested – meaning no other companies contested with the purpose to argue they already served these locations.

The map accompanying this story shows the locations which will now be able to be served, in the near future, if the property owners/residents want to participate.

Fritsche stressed, as she did last year, the company will take care of all the installation and future maintenance. Conversations will be held in the future, with the county commissioners, about installation requirements, right-of-way, etc.

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