NTIA grant brings fiber internet to Sabine County

NTIA grant brings fiber internet to Sabine County
Published: Nov. 20, 2023 at 6:21 PM CST
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SABINE COUNTY, Texas (KTRE) - Community members, county officials and Windstream representatives gathered at the courthouse in Sabine County on Monday to discuss plans to bring fiber internet to more than 5,500 homes and businesses.

Sabine County Judge Daryl Melton said bringing Windstream’s Kinetic service to the county was made possible by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

“This process started two years ago, and fortunately Sabine County, a rural county, was what they were looking at, and we received this grant,” said Melton.

Back in 2021, Sabine County applied to the NTIA’s Broadband Infrastructure Program. The program supports making broadband internet available in unserved areas.

Melton said the counties’ need for internet service was made clear during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Schools would send the kids home and not even be in class. We had areas that the kids could not even connect to internet to get their lessons and keep up,” said Melton.

The grant gives Sabine County $12 million, while Windstream, the internet service provider, is putting in $5 million, which will cover the entire project.

According to Windstream.com residents and businesses will be able to get up to 1 GB of speed for about $70 a month through the service.

“It’s a game changer for our county. This is going to make that change that we will hopefully see growth, see economic development come from it,” said Melton.

Melton said the project should near completion by the end of next year, adding another internet service provider to the area.