KUB hears broadband comments, concerns from public
By Mike Steely
A public input meeting Wednesday evening at the Grande Event Center on Clinton Highway saw a good crowd of citizens attend who mostly expressed their approval of a “Fifth Division” to the Knoxville Utility District. That additional division would be broadband service to eventually serve KUB’s customers in Knox and portions of Union and Grainger counties.
Several citizens, including Knoxville Mayor Indya Kincannon and Union County Mayor Jason Bailey, told the KUB Board they support the idea and a couple of speakers said they did not want their utility bills to go up just to support broadband service.
The utility district is proposing a three percent increase in electric rates to all customers to gear up the offering television, internet and telephone service over a fiber optic cable. Jamie Davis, vice president of KUB, told the audience the system already has fiber optic connecting its substations.
Davis said eventually the broadband service would be installed in homes at no cost, offer one-gig of power or 2 gigs if a customer wants it, have no contracts and cost about $65 per month. The broadband service will take several years to reach every home and could begin next year.
The idea of adding broadband must be approved by the KUB Board and the Knoxville City Council.