Knoxville Utility Board commissioners approve plan for broadband internet service

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The Knoxville Utilities Board is one step closer to offering high-speed fiber internet service to more than 210,000 of its electric customers.

The KUB Board of Commissioners approved the plan to upgrade its electrical grid by installing an extensive fiber network to provide more reliable electricity service and offer cheaper internet service to the households and businesses in their service area. The Knoxville City Council is expected to consider the plan at its June 29 meeting, which is the final step in the approval process.

The utility provider told community members KUB aims to offer a standard residential package that provides symmetrical 1 gigabit per second download and upload speeds for $65 a month. KUB will provide packages at different speeds and prices for both residential and commercial customers.

If approved, KUB said most of the fiber optic cables would be installed through overhead lines and poles, where most electric wires already exist.

KUB hosted a broadband public forum on May 26 to answer questions from customers about the plan. A second community meeting was held on June 14. Click here to view a recording of the meeting.

KUB also posted a list of questions and responses about the broadband plan from the community meetings.

They are also planning to hire approximately 200 technical and customer support staff employees for any customer issues that may arise.

The utility was approved last month by Tennessee Valley Authority and the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury to deploy a fiber network and provide broadband internet services to customers within its service territory.

KUB provides electric, natural gas, water and wastewater services to more than 468,000 customers in Knoxville and parts of seven surrounding counties.

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