High speed fiber to soon be installed in rural area near McCool Junction

YORK COUNTY – Very soon, high speed fiber will be installed in a rural area near McCool Junction which will provide internet service to a currently unserved area, mostly in the area of Sacks Lake.

Jennifer Reiman and Allison Fritsche, representing Glenwood Telecommunications which will be providing the infrastructure and service, spoke to the York County Commissioners this past week, in order to provide an update on the project.

Earlier, the county board provided the company with a letter of support as Glenwood sought a grant to help pay for the infrastructure installation.

“We are within a few weeks of starting the project near Sacks Lake,” Reiman said. “We have sent notice to the residents who are eligible for this new service. We are also pleased to say the workers for the contractor will be staying in hotels in York, which is great because we want them to contribute to the communities where the work is being done.”

She said Glenwood is currently planning to have a meeting with the leaders of the Sacks Lake community, “so we can honor their guidelines. The start date for the project is April 1 with a tentative completion date around May 23 or so. The contractors are able to bore about 1 1/2 miles a day.”

Fritsche noted the company will not force any residents to take advantage of the new high-speed service, they will just be offering it to them. She also reiterated how these properties currently are not served with high-speed internet.

“There will be no surprises,” Reiman said, stressing how public information will be an important part of this process. “We will contact the 53 people who can now have this service and we will keep you informed on the progress.”

They presented a map, with the red line showing the areas where this installation will take place.

Also on the map they provided were two green-shaded areas for possible future expansion of high-speed fiber and internet offerings. A new phase of grants will be opening soon, for these types of projects with matches required between the company and possibly government entities.

Reiman reflected on how the county board members had earlier said they were considering partnering with them, as far as the match is concerned when applying for grants. The county board had said they were interested in maybe using ARPA (federal COVID relief dollars) to do so. She asked if the commissioners were still interested in doing so.

“With this map, the green areas are the ones we are proposing when applying for the grant,” Fritsche said.

Reiman explained how it costs about $35,000 to bore a mile (for the installation of high-speed fiber) and then about $2,000 for each line to a residence.

“The state and federal governments want to take care of unserved areas first,” Reiman said. “Anytime there are funds available, this is how we are going to get fiber in the ground.”

Both said they have partnered with other counties in the past, in order to see high speed internet service become available in rural areas where it otherwise had not been available.

The county board will have a committee meet with Glenwood representatives in the future to talk further about the details.


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