Letters to the Editor

E. Ky. already has broadband

There has been much political hoopla recently about bringing broadband to Eastern Kentucky. I speculate it’s political but hope it’s merely lack of information. In communities we serve, broadband has been here for years.

Big Sandy Broadband serves Johnson and Floyd counties, including communities of Van Lear, West Van Lear, Hager Hill, East Point, Meally, Williamsport, Boonescamp and Auxier. We serve customers in the Paintsville/Prestonsburg zip codes but not within the city limits. We have approximately 2,000 customers supported by 10 local employees.

We offer residential speeds of 100 Mbps and business speeds via fiber of up to 1 Gbps. Soon we’ll double residential speed offerings that enable our customers to conduct enterprises across the street or the world on a blended fiber/coaxial cable network. Many of my Kentucky Cable Telecommunications Association colleagues have similar stories.

We built our network with private capital. So far, we’ve managed to stay in business while our federal government funds others directly or, with a wink and a nod, via loan or grant.

Government does real harm to existing jobs when funding parallel networks that compete with privately owned, taxpaying businesses. The upcoming SOAR conference in Pikeville would be a good place to start recognizing this.

Paul Butcher

Owner, Big Sandy Broadband

West Van Lear