N.C. secures new broadband provider

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By Brad Bowman

New Castle city commissioners signed a contract with a broadband company last week providing Internet service to county residents pushed off the grid during the city’s break from Liberty Communications.

Several Henry County residents expressed the need for Internet service at a New Castle City Commission meeting earlier this month after the city turned off Liberty Communications’ equipment. The commission decided not to renew the city’s contract with Liberty Communications due to a breach of contract for lack of payment.

The company’s owner had been given a month grace period despite not having paid rent for use of the city’s water tower. New Castle City Commissioners voted to turn the service back on for a week on Oct. 1 to give county residents time to seek out other service.

Shelby Broadband signed a three-year contract with the city and will provide free service until Dec. 1.

“Customers that have comparable equipment can get online now and they will see a greeting from us,” Chuck Hogg President of Shelby Broadband said. “They will see it when they log on to their old service. We are comparable to DSL with several speed tier plans from 384Kilobit/s up to 5 Megabit/s.  We look forward to being in the area.”

Shelby Broadband is one of the largest area broadband providers extending its coverage from Jefferson County to Cynthiana with approximately 3,000 customers. The company’s service area will extend just north of New Castle to Turners Station and east to Lacie Road.

The New Castle Commission agreed to refund any payments made by the former provider after deductions for money owed due to delinquent rent and fees were payed. According to several members of the commission, the relationship between Liberty Communications’ owner Vona Fuellhart and the city became strained after Fuellhart had made several late payments including bounced checks in the last year.

For more information about Shelby Broadband visit their website: www.shelbybb.com/wireless.aspxand for their coverage map visit: www.shelbybb.com/nc.aspx


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