St. Clair County Commissioners approved Sac Osage Electric Cooperatives application for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support their fiber to the home broadband Internet initiative. Robert Salmon – Presiding Commissioner, Leroy Strope – North District Commissioner, and Randy Smith South District Commissioner presented a check for $663,000 to the board of directors of Sac Osage Electric Cooperative.
The funding comes from the American Rescue Plan Act that was allocated for broadband infrastructure grants and other programs. The funds represent a portion of what was allocated to St. Clair County. Osage Valley Electric Cooperative was also award grant funding.
The overarching goal of this project is to design, implement, construct, and operate a fiber network to connect as many unserved/underserved households as possible in throughout Sac Osage’s electric footprint with high-speed fiber broadband services, in a manner that is affordable, accessible, and sustainable for all end users. The fiber-optic network will offer residents access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Packages offering 100Mbps ($49.95/month), 1,000 Mbps ($79.95/month), 2,000 Mbps ($99.95) will be available to subscribers. Additionally, the all-fiber network will provide HD-quality voice service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and others. There are approximately 3,748 active cooperative members located within St. Clair County that will be offered service for high-speed broadband once the project is complete.
Pictured from left: Brian Hubbard – District 9, Gary Ashby – District 5, Tony Underwood – District 2, Gene Brockus – District 6, Randy Smith – South District Commissioner, Jim Murray – District 7, Robert Salmon – Presiding Commissioner, Ray Huesemann – District 4, Leroy Strope – North District Commissioner, Ted Woodrell – District 3, Tim Minehardt – District 1, Ken Haker – District 8.