Apr 30, 2023
Rural Saline County residents will soon have access to NextTech fiber
Rural communities in Saline County will soon have a new option for broadband
Rural communities in Saline County will soon have a new option for broadband internet.
Nex-Tech, an information technology company, announced Tuesday that it is making progress in a project in rural Saline County to route fiber optic cables and become a local option for high-speed internet.
Nex-Tech's broadband service is a step toward one of the County's goals in utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funding. Among several others, the issue of access to broadband internet for Saline County's rural residents has been a focus of the board of commissioners.
At the June 6 meeting, Nex-Tech Engineering Supervisor Jeremy Rumbeck presented a map showing areas of the county that will be built out.
"The project includes about 130 miles of fiber optic cable to be placed and will be passing approximately 669 structures, or homes and businesses," Rumbeck said.
Last August, County Commissioners approved letters of support and dedication of grant matching funds for three firms that were applying to the State of Kansas' Capital Projects fund for projects in rural Saline County.
In January, the governor announced an award to Nex-Tech. The county is currently working on an agreement with Nex-Tech for the grant matching funds, which will come back to the commission for approval at a later date.
At the June 6 meeting, Nex-Tech provided a brief overview of what the project will look like and where they are in the process as of now.
There is already an ongoing Nex-Tech project in the city of Salina. The new project in rural Saline County has not begun construction yet, but is beginning the engineering process.
More on the city project:City Commission allows more access for fiber internet installation
With the award of state funding, Nex-Tech is required to have the project complete by the end of 2024. After the engineering process, Nex-Tech expects to begin construction in the early spring of 2024.
Kendrick Calfee has been a reporter with the Salina Journal since 2022, primarily covering county government and education. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter @calfee_kc.More on the city project: