This article was originally published on wrcbtv.com.
The internet has become part of the daily lives of millions of Americans but not everyone has access to broadband. Thanks to one developing company internet speed will be a lot faster in one neighborhood in the Sequatchie Valley. Jasper Highlands revealed Thursday; they are offering residents high speed internet. Making sure no neighbor gets left behind for lack of access.
People living on top of Jasper Mountain will now have faster internet speed. “We kind of refer to ourselves as Gig Mountain. They had internet before but through satellite with limited data,” said Dane Bradshaw, President of Jasper Highlands.
Due to a law that prevents EPB and other internet providers from entering into certain areas not everyone in the Tennessee Valley has access to broadband. Including rural areas like Jasper. “We have a thriving internet in Chattanooga and then digital deserts in between and suddenly at 2,000 feet elevation on Jasper Mountain is a gigabyte speed.”
With major companies like Google developing in Bridgeport Alabama, John Thornton and his team of developers knew they needed to get access to their fiber lines. “They had to have a massive capacity. They had to have high speed internet. Closer, it’s on the same side of the river. So we ran fiber,” said Chief Executive Officer of Jasper Highlands, John Thornton.
By running thousands of fiber wires from North Alabama to the Sequatchie Valley developers say now everyone in the Jasper Highlands community will be able to connect to high-speed internet service. “It is not a bonus to them. It is a necessity. We’ve had people who bought land, built homes. It is significant investment in Marion County, they wouldn’t have done that if High Speed Internet wasn’t available,” said Bradshaw.
Thornton said he hopes the high speed internet will trickle down the mountain into other parts of Marion County. “If they do bring fiber into this whole region, it will lift it up. Help us with industrial recruitment, moving people into this area. Not just on this mountain but all around. It makes a lot of sense,” said Thornton.
The high speed internet provider is called High Tech Data. They say right now their main focus is serving neighbors on the mountain. Talks are in the works to provide internet to area hospitals.