Unfortunately I have been approached by a couple of my constituents asking about when they will be receiving their "free" internet service touted by a candidate running for Village Trustee.
Well, if you believe him, then I might have a bridge to sell you...
I'm sorry to be the barer of bad news, but Gilberts residents are not going to receive free internet. This is unfortunately the result of a confused candidate trying to win some support from voters during the home stretch of the campaign. The truth of the matter is that WOW! is currently laying fiber optic cable for future service in the area. But if you want to use it, you still have to pay for it.
Following a 2015 referendum which was overwhelmingly defeated by local residents, Village staff reached out to additional vendors until it found a cable and internet provider who was interested in expanding their market and establishing a better infrastructure in the region. Enter WOW!, a cable and internet provider looking to expand into our area and get a competitive advantage over AT&T and Comcast.
When a Village puts forth a referendum it is asking the voters to weigh in on an issue that will undoubtedly affect their bottom line. Had voters approved the referendum the Village would have issued bonds totaling $5 million to build network, and then contracted with service providers to use the network to deliver their services. After the bonds were repaid, this could have been a revenue source for the Village moving forward. If you recall, however, the referendum had little support from the residents who did not want to make the capital investment up front to receive revenue down the line. Instead, WOW! will be laying the fiber at their own cost and essentially corner the market on high speed delivery.
So to recap:
- NO - We are unfortunately not getting free internet
- NO - This candidate is not bringing you free internet
- YES - On April 4th you should strongly consider voting for the three candidates who actually understand this issue: Allen, Farrell & Zambetti
Pass the word!