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Construction set to begin on city's broadband project

Staff writer

Hillsboro moves a step closer to high speed broadband service this month with the start of fiber construction Monday.

Representatives of TC Wireless have visited the city in preparation for the project’s first phase in the city’s downtown.

The contract was just shy of $4.9 million, said Dale Jones, the company’s chief executive officer.

The buried fiberoptic network will boost Internet speeds dramatically. The company plans to have the project finished in 158 days.

“Weather permitting,” he said in a phone interview. “We could have been a lot farther along in this.”

TC Wireless rerouted the project to avoid land owned by the Army Corps of Engineers when it became clear that requirements in its outgrant policy would delay the project.

U.S. Senator Jerry Moran and U.S. Representative Roger Marshall wrote a letter seeking answers about the corp’s policies. The issue is still unresolved, said Jones.

Anthony Roy, Hillsboro’s economic development director, said the project would attract business but would be even more attractive to people who want to live and work in the city.

The best outcome is to get everyone signed up, he said.

“This is a big deal,” he said. “Hopefully this will spur expansion and locals can start businesses that use high bandwidth.”

He was not sure of pricing, but was told it would be reasonable.

“The company told me they could compete with anyone here in Hillsboro,” he said.

 Mayor Lou Thurston was glad to have the company’s investment in the community, he said in an earlier interview.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have this project and have TC make an investment in Hillsboro,” he said.

More people are working and studying from home, he said.

“The project will have a little of what everyone needs and probably a little bit more,” he said.

Last modified Sept. 17, 2020

 

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