Mayor’s Message May 2019

Internet services seems to be a hot and controversial topic in the Big J these days. Or, should I say, lack of quality internet?

Because TDS was/is our phone provider, when the world wide web was introduced, they were naturally our primary and only Internet service provider (ISP)! Over the years TDS’s quality of service has continuously declined.

When I became Mayor, I set a list of Goals & Objectives of issues to address. Getting reliable internet was one of those goals! Admittedly, I have yet to achieve this goal for our town, but I continue to pursue any and all options.

I started with Cox 10 years ago requesting they service Jones. I was told that their ROI (Return On Investment) just didn’t make it feasible to do so. I have been in contact with Cox continuously since, repeating my request. Their response remained consistent, ROI not there yet! In the meantime, I’ve contacted and/or had meetings with, Dobson Communication, AtLink, AT&T, OneNet, and many more only to be told the same thing, ROI! There are several wireless providers that offer connectivity, such as Toc Box, AeroSurf, and others, but their coverage is limited.

Finally, in 2018, we were able to get Cox to run fiber optic internet cable to both the fire station and city hall. This was done with the hope that Cox would continue the “build out” to serve residential customers. We were told that “eventually” they would, they just couldn’t/wouldn’t predict that would be. I am still hopeful that it will happen sooner rather than later!

At one time, AtLink had an antenna on our water tower and were offering wireless internet. However, after a storm last summer that damaged it, they opted to remove it. We are currently working with “Go Wireless” to install a new antenna on the water tower which will offer another wireless internet service option to Jones residents.

AT&T will install a new tower that, I believe, will enable them to provide 5G service. Verizon has been hanging fiber to serve their tower on Britton, as well. TDS and OneNet have installed fiber all around town, we are literally surrounded by fiber, but so far not a single company is willing to “build out” into the neighborhoods!

I am willing to speak with any providers that are interested in offering internet service to our residents. In the meantime, I am trying to be patient while exploring all options.