by Bill Scott, GLE President/CEO
Nearly 5,200 surveys were returned last year when we polled members on their interest in high speed fiber Internet. The favorable response is one of the things that prompted your board of directors to have a more thorough study done.
A feasibility study for deploying fiber is now underway in the Petoskey area of Emmet County. This study will more accurately identify the costs involved, potential number of subscribers, and revenue to expect. It will address challenges in attaching fiber optic cable to the many miles of poles that cross rivers, hills and swamps. A private consultant with extensive experience in fiber Internet deployment is conducting the study for GLE. Their findings will be shared with the board later this year.
Should we find the service can be justified from a business standpoint, it could initially become available in part of our service area as a pilot project. We could then monitor the new program in action to better analyze whether it’s meeting our expectations.
Expansion of the service into other areas would be the goal if the pilot project is implemented and found to be successful. However, it would take years to complete the expansion due to the large territory we cover.