Smith County officials and North Central Telephone Cooperative broke ground on a new project bringing broadband internet connections to the Dixon Springs area.
Bill Woodard is the Director of the Smith County Chamber of Commerce. He said the nearly $3.3 million project will cover a span of 93 miles including Smith and Trousdale counties.
“Just think of this, if you’re sitting at your house and you do not have internet service or broadband service,” Woodard said, “then all of a sudden it comes in, it’s almost like you came out of the dark end of the world. I think that is a tremendous benefit.”
Woodard said the project will benefit everyone in the area from businesses to school children.
“We’ve got kids that are in school, they go home and a lot of the things they have to study and things that they have to look at are on the internet,” Woodard said. “Now they’ll be able to do that from their home instead of having to either do it at school, or the local library, or go to someone else’s house. They’ll be able to do that from their own home because they’ll have that service.”
Woodard said businesses like Catesa Farms, which uses high-tech equipment for their tractors and combines, will benefit with a new broadband service. He said the McDonald family that owns Catesa Farms even donated property for the project.
“[Catesa Farms] have satellite tracking on their combines and they use the internet quite a bit so I know it’s going to be a real boom for them,” Woodard said. “There’s several other small businesses there that I know will benefit from this.”
Woodard said the project will likely be completed in time for Dixon Springs residents by this time next year.