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Kingsland could get direct-to-home, high-speed internet

Rio Broadband CEO Fred Tips

Rio Broadband CEO Fred Tips passes out samples of the conduits his company uses to deliver fiber-optic internet access to customers. Tips said he would pay to install the cable in Kingsland if the Llano County Commissioners Court would permit him to dig in its right-of-way. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

The Llano County Commissioners Court is talking with internet service provider Rio Broadband to install direct-to-home, high-speed fiber-optic cable for internet service in Kingsland. According to Rio Broadband CEO Fred Tips, fiber-optic cable provides faster speeds and better reliability than the non-fiber coaxial cable currently in place.

The court snagged on installation issues during discussions at its regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, so no final decision was made, but commissioners directed County Attorney Dwain Rogers to draft an agreement between the county and Rio Broadband for further talks after the first of the year. 

Rio Broadband’s initial proposal was to install fiber-optic cable using microtrenching along several streets in Kingsland. The company would pay for the work, said CEO Fred Tips, who attended the meeting 

A majority of the commissioners disagreed with the method, saying it would degrade the roads. They suggested digging in the right-of-ways instead.

“I think this is a great idea to help people get any kind of internet access, but we need to think about our interests also,” said Precinct 4 Commissioner Jerry Don Moss. “I would support this. I think anytime you could help any kind of internet access or anything else, that’s good, but it needs to be off the pavement.”

Moss’ specific concern was that the microtrenching method uses a saw to cut a 1.5-inch groove in the road’s surface and would cause the outer edge of the road to erode. The county is responsible for repaving degraded roads.

Precinct 2 Commissioner Linda Raschke and Judge Ron Cunningham agreed with that assessment, but the court as a whole still said they wanted to see Rio Broadband continue the project if it could be done along the easement that lines the roadways.

“We’re amenable to going off the road,” Tips said. “(Microtrenching), for us, is the fastest, most economical way in this area to put fiber to the home. If we start going deep underground, via either directional drilling or plowing, at that point, we’re just going to be at risk of hitting not only other utilities but also subterranean rock.”

Tips said he has been working on this project for about two years. He told that Rio Broadband is the only service provider bringing direct fiber-optic speeds of up to 10 gigabytes per second to Kingsland homes. 

Llano County Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval
Llano County Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval explains how fiber-optic cable bundling would be used to bring high-speed internet direct to homes in Kingsland. Sandoval, who represents the lakeside community, was a strong advocate for allowing Rio Broadband to install the cable. Staff photo by Dakota Morrissiey

Precinct 3 Commissioner Mike Sandoval, who represents Kingsland, was a strong advocate for the project.

“The mission is to provide high-speed service to our communities,” he said. “A solution will come.”

The proposed work would be done on Skyline Drive, Hermosa Drive, Chaparral Run, and Pony Creek, creating a network of cable that could be used to provide service to a large chunk of the lakeside community.

Sandoval said he has received numerous complaints from Kingsland residents about current internet service and low-hanging lines that prevent residents from moving large vehicles, like RVs, on and off their properties.

In August, Sandoval sat down with Tips and representatives from the Kingsland Water Supply Co., Llano County Road and Bridge Department, and Kingsland Municipal Utilities District to come up with a game plan for the effective installation of fiber-optic cable in Kingsland.

1 thought on “Kingsland could get direct-to-home, high-speed internet

  1. Kingsland now has better internet with speeds up to 400 Mbps through VGI Technology.

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