The Rural Broadband Association has named Twin Lakes a Smart Rural Community designation.
Twin Lakes CEO and General Manager Jonathan West said the award recognizes the investments made in Jackson County and other service areas.
“We’ve spent about $52 million in Jackson County, and part of that is on electronic infrastructure,” West said. “The other part of that is brand new fiber optic lines stretched throughout the county. We’re not finished with Jackson County, but by the end of next year every single resident will have access to fiber optic infrastructure. Right now, 90-percent already do.”
Twin Lakes has invested $240 million throughout the nine counties it serves. West said future regional investments will involve educating customers on how to utilize faster internet services and new technology.
“You can obviously learn and entertain yourself, but there’s more than that,” West said. “In the future, there’s going to be autonomous driving and artificial intelligence. There’s a lot of technology coming and we want to make sure that doesn’t bypass Jackson County because of a lack of infrastructure.”
Jackson County Mayor Randy Heady said Twin Lakes has helped the county avoid struggling with obtaining reliable internet service.
“I go to all these places with other county mayors and I continue to hear the same story, ‘help us get internet.’ and they’re not even asking for fiber or gig, they’re just asking for internet,” Heady said. “This is huge for us because we have the greatest technology when it comes to internet service.”
Twin Lakes celebrated its accomplishments during a community event in Jackson County Thursday. Other events will take place in different service areas across the region throughout the summer.