MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Commissioners on Monday were asked to recommend possible sites and grant easements for a shelter to house equipment related to fiber optic, high speed broadband access coming through the county as part of the Connecting Appalachia project.
Connecting Appalachia is a public/private partnership between the national Telecommunications and Information Agency and Horizon Telecom to fill coverage gaps in rural areas of the state, and is funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Scott Lewellen of Site Excell spoke with the commissioners on Horizon’s behalf and said the project is targeting schools, governmental buildings, 9-1-1 call centers and hospitals. The new fiber optic system would run along Ohio 13 and Coshocton Avenue and connect Knox County with the existing Ohio Academic Resources Network. If the county provides a shelter site, Lewellen said, Horizon, an Ohio company, would pay the capital expenses necessary to tie a county building into the system.
No costs estimates or cost benefits were readily available, and the commissioners said they would take the request under advisement and discuss possible sites at a later date.