Mason City Council considers fiber optic service for community residents

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By Aaron Whitlock
Mason Times staff writer

Mason city council members said that they are excited to begin the conversation of establishing a new cable and Internet service for Mason.

City councilman Jon Droscha addressed the public at Tuesday night’s meeting about possibly connecting to the area’s fiber optic network for faster cable and Internet service.

Last month, Droscha and fellow council members attended the Michigan Municipal League’s annual convention, where local leaders gathered to learn about civic engagement, entrepreneurism, urban planning and socioeconomic development.

Droscha participated in the session, “Bringing the Information Super Highway to your Community,” where presenters talked about building high speed and low cost Internet access system for Michigan communities.

“I am exceedingly excited about this prospect,” Droscha said in his report.

Currently, Mason uses cable and Internet services through AT&T and WOW, which use copper wire as opposed to fiber wire.

Fiber optic gigabit service would provide service 200 times faster than Mason’s current service by AT&T and WOW, Droscha said.

Droscha said that establishing this technology would not be costly for residents and it would attract a high tech industry to Mason.

“The gigabit service would cost approximately the same as what residents are paying now, which is extremely exciting,” Droscha said.

Mayor pro tempore Robin Naeyaert said she believes the fiber optic gigabit service is something the city council should talk about and seriously consider making a reality for the city of Mason’s residents.

“I would love to see us have wireless service as a city utility. I think it would be a wonderful benefit for the residents of our community,” Naeyaert said.

According to Droscha’s report, the city would have to bond for the installation and set up a utility that would provide Internet and television service to residents.

“We are ideally located on a main fiber optic trunk line between Lansing and Jackson,” Droscha said. “It is time to take control of this utility and give our citizens a service they deserve.”

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