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New Spicewood tower a boost to first responders, internet users

Spicewood tower

A new communications tower is under construction at the Spicewood fire station that will enhance emergency services communication and potentially provide high-speed internet to the community. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Construction is underway on a new communications tower at the Burnet County Emergency Services District No. 9 fire station in Spicewood. The ESD will use the tower to significantly upgrade emergency services communication, while Nexstream, a Fredericksburg-based internet service provider, will be installing equipment to bring high-speed internet to surrounding communities.

“High-speed internet is coming soon to Spicewood, Texas!” reads an advertisement recently posted on Facebook. 

The ESD No. 9 board approved a deal with Nexstream in late 2022 that includes tearing down the district’s old tower and building a new one. Nexstream is footing the bill for construction of the tower in exchange for building it on ESD land and letting the district install new EMS communications equipment.

“This is really a win-win for Spicewood,” board President Curtis Raetz told DailyTrib.com. 

The ESD’s previous tower was over 24 years old and of unknown structural integrity. Discussions surrounding the use of that tower to provide internet access began in July 2022 when Connected Burnet County President Herb Krasner made a presentation to the commissioners, asking if a dish could be installed to provide air-fiber internet to underserved areas in Spicewood. 

According to Raetz, the ESD was approached by Nexstream in August or September 2022 with a proposal to build a new communications tower. The deal was solidified later in the year.

The new tower will allow for more reliable radio communication for firefighters, EMS workers, fire trucks, and ambulances in the Spicewood area and provide high-speed internet access to the fire station and homes and businesses in the area.

dakota@thepicayune.com