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Markle Town Council approves study to determine Internet needs

August 22nd, 2018

By Rebecca Sandlin | Huntington County TAB

Survey-takers may soon be knocking on doors in the town of Markle, after the Markle Town Council approved a home feasibility study at its regular meeting Wednesday, Aug. 15.

The survey is aimed at determining the town’s Internet needs and whether installing fiber optic infrastructure is an option Internet service-providers want to pursue.

Councilmen voted to have AdamsWells Internet Telecom TV conduct the survey, working with Bloomington firm Yates Engineering Services LLC, at a cost of $5,784 for a projected 88 hours of work. AdamsWells will determine a total cost and revenue plan that will determine whether bringing fiber optic service is profitable.

The study report will also contain an itemized list of investments required, as well as narrative summarizing the build within the report. If the fiber optic network is funded, Yates Engineering Services would provide a fully developed “Fiber to the Home” engineering and construction plan.

As part of the study, Yates Engineering Services will conduct a stakeholder meeting to discuss the project and make an on-site review to determine the best plan to place fiber optic lines and access points.

At last month’s town council meeting, Tim Miles of S and R Communications LLC – Fiberhawk-Swayzee, told councilmen the coaxial Internet system his company currently provides is out of date and building a fiber optic network in Markle would cost around $1 million.

Chad Kline, executive director of Wells County Economic Development, said Markle is in a unique position because there are three companies that are interested in bringing fiber optic service to the community.

Town Clerk-Treasurer Carolyn Hamilton said upgraded Internet service is sorely needed, with some residents waiting around 10 months to get a connection through one company.

Kline will notify AdamsWells and Yates Engineering Services of the council’s approval. Hamilton said the date of the survey is not yet determined, but the work will be completed within 60 days of a signed agreement.