SUGAR GROVE – The village board on Tuesday unanimously approved a franchise agreement with MetroNet to build a fiber-optic cable network that will provide high-speed internet, TV and phone service to residents and businesses.
The agreement also allows for a ground lease that will permit MetroNet to place an equipment cabinet near Main Street and the railroad tracks.
Village Administrator Brent Eichelberger said he expects MetroNet services to become available in the next few months. More information on MetroNet services can be found on their website, www.metronetinc.com.
“MetroNet expects to begin work in the village as early as next week,” Eichelberger said. “Residents in the initial build areas will be receiving letters from MetroNet any day. Service should start being available in the next few months. The majority of the village will be included in the initial service area.”
Eichelberger said competition from MetroNet may lead other service providers to up their game, too.
“Both residents and businesses will have access to gigabit [internet download] speeds through MetroNet,” Eichelberger said. “This may have the additional positive effect of causing other providers to improve their systems. This will increase the village’s business readiness to state-of-the-art services and greatly improve quality of life for residents who are underserved.”
Complaints of unreliable service and internet speed issues through other providers have accumulated throughout the years from around the village.
“Both residents and businesses have expressed a desire and need for widespread fast, reliable service that exceed what is available today,” Eichelberger said.
All residents will continue to have access to Mediacom. AT&T also is available within the village but is limited to certain areas. Other wireless dish and antenna options also are available to residents.
The search for another provider has been long for the village. There have been requests from residents for different providers throughout the years according to Eichelberger.
“Internet services options have been requested by residents and businesses for well over 10 years,” Eichelberger said. “The village has reached out to various providers over the years requesting they consider Sugar Grove, and we have responded to different providers that have contacted the village. We have been talking to MetroNet for about four years.”
Currently, MetroNet doesn’t plan to expand its service area, but there is a possibility other areas will have access in the future.
“The areas not included in the initial service area are relatively remote and are of limited potential users from a service provider standpoint,” Eichelberger said. “MetroNet intends to provide service to these areas if they can establish a customer base that justifies the capital investment to expand the system.”