The final phase of Jackson Connect’s plan to extend fiber-to-the-home was announced during a meeting of the Jackson County Council on September 18, during which council also approved 10-year tax abatement for the project.
Mark McKinney, general manager of Jackson County REMC, told members of the Council that the $4,157,178 planned investment for Phase III will bring the total project to $19,303,670 in Jackson County. Work on the final phase is expected to begin during 1st quarter of 2020 with a completion date of March 1, 2021.
Previously, McKinney had told the Council that rural areas of the country are very underserved when it comes to broadband because the cost of extending fiber to the home is very expensive. Less than 6% of Jackson County REMC members have access to what the FCC define as minimum download speeds; this service will remedy that situation, and improve the overall quality of life throughout Jackson County.
Said McKinney, “Much like the co-op’s rural residents were underserved regarding electricity in the 1930s, the Co-op’s Board of Directors voted to form Jackson Connect, the fiber division of the co-op, to provide a true high-speed internet connection to the members of Jackson County REMC.”