Internet service gaps hot topic during meeting

Tombigbee Electric CEO Steve Foshee explains the digital mapping of the county is not adequate.

HALEYVILLE   -  Despite ongoing projects to connect both the eastern and western sides of Winston County  with high speed internet, local officials are  discussing gaps in service in the county’s central portion, as well as inadequate data showing which areas of the county are really lacking internet service.
Steve Foshee, CEO of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, which has broadband projects ongoing on the county’s west side, held a meeting Tuesday, June 30, at Haleyville City Hall to discuss these and other issues with city and county leaders.
Attending the meeting were Winston County Commission Chairman Roger Hayes Commissioner Bobby Everett, Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri and Double Springs Mayor Elmo Robinson. They gave a lot of input into the current internet situation, not only about  areas not receiving service, but inadequate data for areas of the county which may affect whether or not those areas even receive broadband service.
“The Federal Communication Commission, which is the overseer of broadband...has gradually raised their definition. They were at 10 (megabytes down) and one (megabyte up). That was high speed,” Foshee explained. “Now they have raised it to 25/3...It’s our opinion, from a practical perspective, that is way too low. Let’s get away from 25/3, and let’s move up higher.”
However, the areas which already have 25 megabytes down and three megabytes up, as defined by the FCC,  do not qualify for funding for higher speed broadband service, Foshee pointed out.
“That is Double Springs,” Foshee said, looking at Robinson in the audience, “because in your area you have defined 25/3. I think those standards are really low.
“The biggest problem we’ve got is the standards are set so low.  It took areas out, saying they are OK,” Foshee pointed out.


See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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