Last month, Scott County (Va.) Telephone Cooperative (SCTC) was awarded a $1.9 million grant through the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act to extend broadband service to approximately 1,051 customers in and around Surgoinsville.
Beginning in 2015, SCTC crossed the Tennessee state line into Hawkins County at Stanley Valley Road and extended broadband to about 460 customers south to the Stanley Valley Market.
The new project picks up where that first one left off.
What areas will the new SCTC broadband expansion affect?
The entire town of Surgoinsville is included.
The new project covers Carters Valley Road from Watterson Gap Road west to just past Thurman Lane. It also covers Highway 11-W from Forrest View Road west almost to Whispering Oaks Drive; and Main Street from the 11-W intersection west to Thurman Road.
Also included are a substantial section of Old Stage Road west of Surgoinsville, all of Phipps Bend, and areas north of the city limits on Zion Hill Road, Arnold Road, Lone Oak Road, Waterson Gap Road, Shanks Gap Road and all the smaller connected side streets.
Some of the affected households have never had broadband accessibility, and others had it through Middle Tennessee Broadband until around October 2016, when that system went down and was never repaired.
Among the governent facilities that will be affected by this expansion are the Hawkins County Airport, Phipps Bend Fire Department, Phipps Bend's T-CAT campus, Surgoinsville Middle and Elementary schools, and Surgoinsville City Hall, police department, public library and post office.
What's the timeline for completion?
SCTC CEO Bill Franklin told the Times News on Monday the project will cost about $3.3 million overall, and they hope to have it completed by early 2020.
Franklin said that will have a lot to do with when Tennessee releases grant funds, but their goal is to start in March and be completed by February 2020.
They hope to complete engineering and construction bids in time to begin construction before the end of 2018.
SCTC will be utilizing poles owned by Holston Electric Cooperative, which actually announced its own broadband effort earlier this month.
What services will the SCTC broadband offer?
"It's going to be fiber to the premises, so whether it's a residential customer or business customer, we'll have the ability to do a gig (gigabyte) at any location," Franklin said. "If there's a business that wanted more than a gig, we'll be able to do more than a gig."
Franklin added, "We'll do the triple play. We'll offer the high speed internet, or the broadband, we'll offer our dial tone (telephone) service, and our cable TV service. And we actually do security service. We can set up a security system at their home, and it's monitored over the internet."