Houston County residents concerned over lack of basic internet services

Local News

HOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. (WDHN) — According to lawmakers, about 800,000 Alabamians don’t have broadband in their homes.

Houston County resident Gary Norman recently purchased a home on Hooper Cherry Road. He said local internet provider Centurylink is refusing to provide internet service for the growing area of Houston County.

“First thing after I got water and electricity was to get internet service, but after noticing Centurylink had their junction box down the street, (I) spoke with a neighbor across the street who had internet, although it was slow and unreliable,” Norman said. So for the past several months, I’ve been trying to get internet services at our new home”

In his neighborhood, there are currently two new homes that have been built, two more under construction and three planned in the next few months. After several attempts, Norman was informed that the local Centurylink office conducted an ROI estimate, and it was not cost effective to support their existing customers.

They reportedly refused to upgrade their system to handle the new customers moving and building in the growing area of Houston County.

“They can’t tap in any more internet connections,” Norman said. “Well, as a providing service to the public, particularly our street and our neighborhood, we believe the right thing to do is invest $44,000 so that us and future neighbors can have basic internet services.”

Meanwhile, these new homeowners will be investing in excess of $1 million in building their new homes. Norman has tried to contact the central office but to no avail.

Gov. Kay Ivey recently signed legislature to try to make broadband internet to rural areas. The states legislature added $20 million to the rural broadband grant program.

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