“They gave us a stop-work order so they could make sure the towers wouldn’t interfere with the flight path out of the (Horseshoe Bay) airport,” Clinesmith said.
While two of the towers have already been approved, the height of the third one might need to be dropped a few feet to ensure pilot safety.
If the city fails to gain approval from the FAA for the third tower, it will still move forward with the other two, Clinesmith said.
“We know we’ll have to pay the crew to come back out, but we need to get this resolved,” she continued.
Talks to improve internet service in Horseshoe Bay have been ongoing for several years, leading the city to form a broadband committee to examine ways to increase internet connectivity.
Initially, Horseshoe Bay officials kicked off discussions by talking to internet service providers about in-ground fiber-optic internet.
“We wanted a hard connection,” Clinesmith said. “We studied it for a year, and we were all ready to go.”
The city opted for wireless after learning the area’s geography wouldn’t allow for in-ground fiber lines.
“(Providers) did some sample trenching and said, ‘No, it can’t be done out here,’” Clinesmith said. “They said they could install some (lines), but it wouldn’t be in a straight line. They were going to have to tear up our streets and our irrigation systems, and we decided that couldn’t happen.”
Although the new service is wireless, providers plan to link the towers with in-ground fiber through the city’s utility lines to increase the overall strength, Clinesmith said.
Once installed, all internet access provided by the towers will be contracted to residents through private vendors such as VGI Technology and Zeecon.