Tribune Recorder Leader
At Monday night’s council meeting, council members heard from representatives of Agri-Valley Services who are interested in bringing fiber optic high-speed internet services to the community. Agri-Valley currently serves all schools in Sanilac County along with a few businesses. They are gauging interest and will work with city officials to create a survey for residents.
“I’m all for it,” said councilman Brad Harris. “I think it would be good for the community.” Company officials said while the discussions are still in the planning stages, if there was a favorable response, planning and engineering would be done this year with actual development of the services beginning early next year.
“We made changes here at city hall several years ago,” City Manager Dave Faber explained to council. “You just cant beat fiber optics. We had some problems with other providers, with internet speed and these folks are looking to see if this is something Sandusky wants. The survey will answer that for us.”
Although no specific numbers were discussed, company officials said the average residential home could expect a minimum bill of around $40 and would increase with larger packages of internet service. Agri-Valley already services several businesses in and around Sandusky, working off two area cell towers that would provide the signal.
Barb Main, General Manager for Agri-Valley Services told council, “This is a very costly project, to come to Sandusky, and there are hundreds of manpower hours involved in this. If you choose to consider this option, we first need your support and then we should survey the community to see if there is enough interest.” She added, “This is not something that happens overnight. It takes time to plan, engineer and install. We are excited about the possibility of adding Sandusky as as client and know the residents would be very pleased with the service we would provide.”
Company officials said fiber optics provides a faster, more steady internet service and they can accommodate both businesses and residential customers. Knowing agriculture is the backbone of the county, Agri-Valley officials said they are also interested in helping area farmers, whether it is on large dairy farms or crop operations.
After the presentation, council members voted to approve to move forward, working together in a partnership to develop a survey. Once the results are submitted, Agri-Valley and Sandusky officials would review the results and determine whether or not it was feasible to move forward.