Owensboro Municipal Utilities continues to expand its home internet coverage across the city.
This week, the City Utility Commission approved between $3.1 million and $3.2 million to continue opening more parts of the city up to the service.
Chris Poynter, OMU’s telecommunication superintendent, said by May 31, the internet service will be available in 3,600 more homes.
And that will mean that 75% of the city will be covered, he said.
This year, OMU completed getting the southeast corner of the city ready for hookup.
And in January or February, crews will start on an area basically from West Parrish Avenue to West Fourth Street.
It also goes to West Second Street in places, as well as to Griffith Avenue.
“We hope that by this time next year, we’ll be starting on the final sections of the city,” Poynter said.
He said the fibernet system has 2,700 customers now.
Current plans call for the service to be limited to OMU’s electrical service area, Poynter said.
He said OMU expects to get at least 20% of the homes where the service is available to sign up.
“But we could still go even lower and it would make sense,” Poynter said.
In September, OMU began offering customers twice the speed for the same price.
That means that customers who were paying $49.99 a month for 50 megabits per second are now getting 100 megabits per second for the same price.
The ones who were paying $69.99 for 100 megabits will now get 200 for the same price.
But Poynter said that those paying $99.99 for 1 gigabit per second won’t get more speed.
That’s the maximum capacity that OMU currently has, he said.
But Poynter said this week, “We’re looking at the possibility of 10 gigabits later.”
Internet service has to be reliable and affordable, he said. “And ours is great for customers.”
OMU saw a lot of interest in the service in 2020, when many people were working from home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The utility began installing its home internet service in January 2016, in the Town and Country neighborhood off Tamarack Road near OMU’s Customer Service Center.
It has been gradually expanding it across the southern half of the city since then.
The internet service is expected to have a net income of more than $1 million by fiscal 2027.