Task Force Studies High-Speed Internet Possibilities in Franklin County

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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – The thought of some Alabama communities still surfing the net on dial-up Internet is shocking to many, but it’s a reality for residents in Franklin County.

Now there’s a revived push to get broadband Internet to the area.

Franklin County Representative Johnny Mack Morrow says his county is being left in the dust technologically.

“2013 of course is the age of communication,” said Morrow.  “Being able to communicate is critical for our businesses and our students.”

So Morrow created a task force.  Business and education leaders, along with county government officials make up the team. They are tasked with gathering information and researching cost scenarios.

“This is our first big push, we`ve got the players involved to make things happen and hopefully we can get there this time,” said Franklin County commissioner, Rayburn Massey.

Frank Hoehn serves as the internet technology representative on the task force and says nearly 45 percent of the county has dial-up Internet.

With low-density populations in several areas, Hoehn says, it’s been too costly in the past to install the service.

“We don`t want the children to come home from school and not be able to use a laptop or our businesses have to suffer if they are working from home or if they have a business out in the rural area,” said Hoehn.

But this task force says it’s committed to getting the best service available at an affordable rate.

So far there is not a time line of when a presentation will be made to the county.  A public meeting drew a large crowd last week.

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