Greene Co. Economic Development Group Signs Broadband Project Agreement with Frontier

By Benjamin Cox on January 26, 2023 at 3:41pm

The Greene County Economic Development Group has formally signed a broadband agreement with Frontier to bring fiber Internet to the door to every home that wants it in Greene County.

The group signed the agreement yesterday that defines the commitment to make available fiber internet service up to 2 gigabits/second for all habitable and business locations in the county within 24 months. The total cost for this project will likely exceed $100 million.

Frontier says they’ll do the project if the county receives an award from the Connect Illinois grant program in the first quarter of this year and if the county can commit $1.1 million to the project.

In a release on the group’s Facebook Page, the $1.1 million would be due in 3 installments parted out until 2025, upon completion of the project. Pat Pinkston, an advisor on the project says he’s heard positive things from the government bodies in the county and is confident something is coming: “I would say that we’ve actually been pleased with the responses that we’ve had from each and all of the entities. All of them recognize this as a historic opportunity to serve Greene County and really raise the bar, and actually put Greene County in the highlight across the state. Ultimately, this level of service if provided as planned would probably put Greene County as one of the most connected counties in the state in its entirety. I think they are all pleased. They are all excited, especially if you talk to the smaller villages and the rural areas. This is something beyond what they ever anticipated. The challenge they all face is can they free up some portion of funding to support the $1.1. million. That’s probably the biggest roadblock, because every one of those – whether it be a school, a township, or the county – if they take money and attribute it to this, that essentially removes available funding from other real dire needs they have.”

The proposal was recently brought to the Greene County Board but no action was taken. A discussion panel has been set for 6PM Thursday, February 23rd at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Carrollton by the Greene County Farm Bureau. Members of the Broadband initiative and a Frontier representative will be on hand to answer questions from the public on the project.