A widespread fiber internet option won’t be fiction for much longer in Trigg County.
During Monday’s Trigg County Fiscal Court meeting, Pennyrile Rural Electric President & CEO Alan Gates and his associates from Hopkinsville Electric/EnergyNet updated magistrates and Judge-Executive Hollis Alexander on where things stand regarding the ongoing backbone structure being built across the service area.
More than $3.7 million of threaded infrastructure, funded by PRECC, exists around Cadiz and in the county.
Gates reminded the court that it already had earmarked $2 million in ARPA funds to the widely-scoped project, and with $210 million still remaining in Kentucky Infrastructure Authority monies awaiting application and disbursement, Gates added that Trigg County’s prudence should be a boon.
In a cost estimate based on market and some inflation, Gates said that outfitting Trigg County and its entire population with a fiber connection option will cost up to $17 million. A PRECC match of $2 million, as well as an opening KIA grant and match for $1.96 million, has that price tag down to $11.5 million.
Gates assured magistrates that PRECC would be on the hook for that bill should it come due, but that an avenue is in place to see those costs paid effectively and through other means. More specifically, KIA’s remaining $210 million for state internet infrastructure is only going to continue to grow behind more federal dollars, and Pennyrile’s ongoing work — coupled with this area’s need for better upload and download speeds — should lend to application success.
An original “Phase 1” build has residents in the southern most third of Trigg County receiving fiber service by January 2023, and another small portion of residents roughly from New Hope Road to I-24 and the Christian County line becoming available in February 2023.
Following KIA’s initial disbursement, however, Gates noted other locations could become funded quickly — though on an indeterminate timetable. This first part of KIA money could pay for fiber development in the western part of the county from Princeton Road to the lakes, as well as in the east from Roaring Springs Road to Cerulean.
A new proposed county-funded build would shift monies to the Rockcastle Road and KY 274 area, as KIA’s finance targets any area with an average upload speed of 1 megabyte and an average download speed of 10 megabytes.
Richard Shaw, telecom manager for HES, said they’ll be responsible for the tech support and sign-up for the service, and that anyone who visits goenergynet.com over the next few months will be able to find updates and timelines on the schedule .
He added that KIA projections will likely be noted to customers by the winter holidays.
Further clarification on paying for the infrastructure: