By Chris Gregory, Managing Editor

Tri-County Electric is continuing its rollout of a three-year plan to wire most of Trousdale County for broadband Internet service.

The utility has been posting maps via Facebook of where its crews are currently laying fiber. The latest map, posted last week, highlights part of the southern end of Trousdale County along Highway 231. Included on the map are Rankin Road, Fisher Lane, Davenport Lane, Canoe Branch Road, Canoe Branch Road, Crook Lane, Carr Lane and Robertson Lane.

Photo courtesy of Tri-County

Paul Thompson, Executive VP/General Manager of Tri-County, spoke with The Vidette on the progress of construction thus far. The utility received a $1.35 million grant from the state earlier this year to assist with the construction process.

“We’re really excited about it; it’s been a long process,” Thompson said. “We feel like we’re starting to gain some momentum and the kinks worked out.”

Thompson said work along 231 North is mostly completed and that he anticipated work on the backbone (laying of fiber) along 231S to be completed within a couple of weeks.

“We’ve brought in additional crews to pick up the pace,” he said. “We have people working on 141 North, Halltown Road, the Dalton Hollow area.”

Tri-County has also built a communications hub near the intersection of Highway 25 and 231.

While Thompson did not have available the number of homes being served currently, he noted that projections show 20 to 30 installs per week. Those will begin first along 231 North and then on 231 South, he said.

“We began the installations last week,” he said. “The process is: we construct backbone, then we’ll come back and construct the drops and do installs. They’ve started that install process now.”

Thompson said about 60 miles of fiber have already been constructed. Phase 1 calls for most of the county west of Broadway to be hooked up in the first year.

“We are projecting we’ll have all our backbone constructed by the end of the year,” he said. “We feel good about the progress we are making.”

Thompson said Tri-County was using direct mail, door hangers and direct calls to market its service. Those interested in signing up are encouraged to go ahead and contact Tri-County.

“If people are interested, they need to sign up while we’re in their area,” said Tammy Dixon, Marketing Director. “We’ll go back to them if they sign up later, but then they’ll fall behind the areas where we are currently.”

“If we know somebody wants service, we can have that drop constructed already,” Thompson added. “It’s important for us to know you want it, to plan for it and we’ll build it as we come through.”

Thompson said Tri-County would hold more public meetings on broadband but that a timeline had not been set.

To signup for Internet service or to get on the list for when construction reaches your area, call 615-688-2114 or go online to tcemc.org/fiber/signup.

Reach Chris Gregory at 615-374-3556 or cgregory@hartsvillevidette.com.