Initial phase of fiber optics project a goLast week a “super group” formed by a combination of three different entities pitched its fiber optics ideas to the Lake County Board of Commissioners. On Tuesday, the board decided to go forth with the initial phase of a fiber optics project.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Last week a “super group” formed by a combination of three different entities pitched its fiber optics ideas to the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
On Tuesday, the board decided to go forth with the initial phase of a fiber optics project.
The board entered into a contract with the group, which consists of ValleyNet, Development Strategies and Resources Inc. and Eureka Broadband, for one year that would not to exceed a cost of $48,000. Commissioner Brad Jones opposed.
Lake County can get out of the contract with a 30-day notice.
The group would conduct a marketing survey, by phone, and also help get funding in the initial phase.
“They thought we are getting a bargain for this rate,” said Commissioner Tom Clifford, about his talks with some groups about the pay-rate for help with grant writing.
There was some opposition to the county’s plans.
John Dover, city council member and the account executive for Frontier Communications in Lake County, didn’t think this project was great.
“Yes this is a good thing for economic development, but it is not necessary,” he said. “I don’t understand why the county is pursuing this.”
He went on to say that Frontier is progressively looking at expanding its network.
As for who could get fiber optics in the area, that’s still up in the air.
“If somebody is 10 miles off an electrical grid, we are probably not going to serve them,” said Gary Fields of Development Strategies. “We can serve everybody with a phone line.”
City Councilor Chris Swanson, who originally proposed the resolution, said Cook County is also interested in talking with Lake County about fiber optics.
In other county board news:
- The board passed a resolution approving an application for FEMA funds to help in disaster relief efforts after the recent ice storm.
According to the resolution, many snowmobile trails, along with the Northwoods Ski Trail in Lake County, were severely damaged because of the storm. Those trails are needed to help the economy during the summer ATV season and next winter’s recreational trail season.