“When this project began, it was our overall responsibility to work with providers to find gaps and figure out how to fill them,” said Mefford. “Right now, Trigg County has about 68 percent of the area served, which is typical of a rural area. Decisions are made by companies based on a return for their investment. Cable and telephone companies have pushed about as far as they can go, so we are talking to a wireless provider about the unserved areas. KW of Davis County has said that they are interested in serving Trigg County.”
Mefford added that if KW served Trigg County, wireless availability could expand from 68 to “something in the 90 percent range.” He said that some areas might be inaccessible due to positions of water towers and other structures for the placement of transmitters and the topography of the county.
“It’s easy for businesses to focus on entire regions to take advantage of existing infrastructure. At this time, we’re playing matchmaker to find companies interested in investing in the community,” said Rose.
Mefford said that students outside of areas served by existing broadband service would benefit most from the broadband connection. “Broadband is an advantage that puts kids on equal footing with other kids.”
Rose added, “Kids have great access during the day at school but are at a disadvantage when they go home to houses without broadband service.”
Mefford said that the wireless broadband service had an additional advantage for tourists and visitors who wish to surf the Internet over fixed service points. “Most people pay for access wherever they go, and if a wireless service is available, it is a good tourism strategy.”
Trigg County Judge/Executive asked about the range of the transmitters that have been suggested to be mounted on area structures.
“It depends on the lay of the land,” said Mefford. “In a clear area, we would consider about a 10 mile radius. If it was really hilly, or with a lot of trees, it would cover maybe three to five miles. Around here, it is pretty much flat.”
Read more about wireless Internet access in Trigg County in The Cadiz Record.