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Fiber optic commissionto request one percent funding

Fiber optic cable
Fiber optic cable

High speed internet connection just got cheaper if the Cook County Fiber Optic Network Commission has its way. The up to $400 customer premises wiring and equipment cost could be absorbed by $1.82 million of one percent sales tax money.

The proposal was brought to the fiber optic meeting Monday morning by Joe Buttweiler of Arrowhead Electric Coop. Buttweiler said the $400 in-home hook-up could be a cost barrier for some customers who want high speed service. Arrowhead’s federal grant provides for free drop service to the home, but does not cover any costs incurred for on the premises infrastructure.

On a motion by commission member Howard Hedstrom, the members voted to bring to the county board a request that money be set aside from one percent sales tax collections. The money would be used to reimburse up to $400, any internet provider a customer chooses that brings the service free of charge to their premises.

The request will be refined by the commission and is expected to go to the county board the end of January or in early February.