FAIRBANK — The potential new cable and Internet options for local residents and businesses were presented to the Fairbank City Council, on Monday, by Oran Mutual Telephone Company and Readlyn Telecommunications representatives.
RTC Board President Todd Kuethe, RTC General Manager Sharon Huck, Oran MTC Manger Dan Lyndt, and OMTC President John Reith were at the council’s regular meeting to discuss the possibility of a project for the communities of Fairbank, Oran and Readlyn, and to seek permission to begin a preliminary study of the businesses and residents of Fairbank to see there was an interest in fiber optic services.
“The communities where you serve you have to bring in and run feeders out to everybody’s house wanting that service,” said Lyndt. “We are a couple miles away from Fairbank. All it would take to feed over here is a couple fibers and then it builds out in putting electronics in and then fibers to everybody’s home.”
The representatives shared that a few residents had contacted Oran Mutual Telephone Company asking about service, prompting both Oran and RTC to begin the preliminary study.
It was pointed out that:
• A feasibility test needed to take place.
• That with the existing local service you could use the dial up service for internet, because it is like long distance calling, and you’d pay a long-distance charge.
• Providing high speed internet is a completely different, than long distance calling services and would need an investment of putting in fiber optic cables into various areas served and the associating equipment with it.
• It would take millions of dollars.
The question of where the money would come from was discussed and the reply was that the cost of the project and funding depended on supply and demand. It had to be economically feasible based on the amount of interest and the competition before enacting any plan.
“We just wanted to present what we would like to research,” said Huck. “One step after we do a few preliminary things, maybe have a town hall meeting, maybe at the Legion Hall.”
The Fairbank City Council agreed that a meeting should take place as a public forum. No date was set, as of yet.
In other business
• The council also discussed repairs to the bridge at City Park, and whether to replace all the wood or parts of the bridge and use either treated or untreated wood. It was also noted that the railing needs to be brought up to compliance because the current spacing between the boards was too wide.
The bridge is 40 years old and 80-feet long. The matter was discussed along the possible costs. The city will seek more formal estimates and the topic will return on a future agenda.
• Department reports were given and meeting went into a closed session “to discuss the purchase or sale of particular real estate only where premature disclosure could be reasonably expected to increase the price the governmental body would have to pay for that property or reduce the price the governmental body would receive for that property,” according to the agenda.
No motion was made after the session, according to Deputy Clerk Brittany Fuller.