Local and state leaders broke ground Monday on a Putnam County broadband expansion project that would benefit some 2,300 homes.
Twin Lakes officials gathered at Poplar Grove Baptist Church where the state presented a check worth more than $10 million for the project. The company was named a finalist for state funding earlier this year.
CEO and General Manager Jonathan West said the location of the ground breaking holds a special place.
“So this is our last business customer that we serve with fiber-optic network today,” West said. “The grant starts here and moves east, north and south from here. This is kind of a real good starting spot. We though it would be a good way to commemorate the day.”
West said the ground breaking starts a 30-month project to install new fiber-optic lines. West said a combination of county, state and Twin Lakes funding pays for the some 200-miles of infrastructure.
“We had almost 100 letters of support from different entities, not counting thousands of people that don’t have access to broadband that were reaffirming that to the state,” West said. “If you look around whether it is the chamber, the state, the county, the city, businesses so many people partnered to help make this successful.”
West said the project is the largest that Twin Lakes has ever undertaken. On its completion. every county resident will have access to high-speed internet.
“If you look at the Upper Cumberland region and you think about Cookeville and Putnam County being the thriving community that it is, and then you think there are over 2,000 homes that don’t have access to internet? It’s almost like you can’t believe that. This project will fix that problem.”