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Chanute to offer high-speed internet to all residents - KOAM TV 7

Chanute to offer high-speed internet to all residents

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Rick Willis calls the small wire in his hand "the new railroad."

"It t used to be everyone wanted to be on the railroad and now the data is the way to go," said Willis, IT Manager of Chanute.
 
Willis holds some of the fastest internet fiber cable in the nation, currently encircling Chanute.

Since 2005, the city has provided its own internet service, which it  offers to some local businesses and government buildings. Now, it wants to offer the service to every resident and worker for $40 per month.

"We're going to be relying on it more and more, I mean it's such a part of our lives as it is," he said.

Susan Willis, Chanute Public Library Director, says the city's fiber speed is much faster than locally-provided services, and entices residents to come use it at the public library.

"Who either have internet at home and they're using ours because it's so much faster or who work from home and really need faster speed somewhere they can get right now," she said.

City officials want those against the fiber to the home project to know it is just an option and they do not have to pay for the service.

"We don't want to push anything on them we're are just basically just trying to offer better services and increase our ability to maintain better utilities through the city," said Luke Lewis, Chanute City Manager.

For some residents, it's all about fast downloading.

"Yeah, I don't like waiting," said Ashley King, Chanute resident.

And bringing skyscraper opportunities to small town America.

"I know a lot of young people leave today as in most small towns across the country because there are not opportunities here and my way of thinking is this would make small-town southeast Kansas again an option," said Susan Willis.

"Hopefully we can keep moving that data and also enhance, bring back business, just better quality of life, all the way around," said Rick Willis.

The city commission approved the fiber to the home project at Monday's meeting. They will now work on funding for the project.

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