Text Credit: EffinghamCounty.org

SPRINGFIELD – The information superhighway is about to get a bit longer in Effingham County.

During Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting, the Effingham County Board of Commissioners approved a service agreement with Planters Communications to provide a Layer 2 fiber network to the Clyo Fire Station. The move will benefit residents who live near the network route because they don’t currently have access to high-speed internet.
“I’ve never had any complaints on Planters,” District 3 Commissioner Jamie DeLoach said Wednesday morning. “With them putting down the fiber-optic cable, I mean, that’s a long-term solution.”
There is no broadband infrastructure in the Clyo area right now and Meldrim is lacking in it, too. During Tuesday’s meeting, County Manager Tim Callanan said Comcast is making inroads in the Meldrim area.
After negotiating with county officials, Planters Communications reduced the cost of the Clyo project by about $200,000 to $350,000. The cost is reduced even further — $50,000 — by not having to pay to access the network for two years.
“I think that’s awesome,” DeLoach said. “For us to get infrastructure all the way up to Clyo for $300,000, I think that’s a great investment.”
The network route will start just outside Springfield’s city limits and predominately follow Ga. Hwy 119 to Clyo. A portion of Stillwell Road and all of Mock Road, Teal Drive and Wood Duck will be included, also.
There are 308 houses along the route.
“I know my next question is going to be ‘When are we going to get it to Tuckasee King’ or ‘When are we going to get it up to here,” but step one was to get it up to that area,” DeLoach said. “We can branch off later.”
The board will apply for grants to pay for network extensions. Future phases have already been mapped.
In addition to fire station, Clyo’s community center will gain broadband access. Callanan suggested using a small portion of it as a media lab for students.

“The one thing I want to say is that I really appreciate the board supporting this initiative because this is definitely helping out with a big issue that we have in District 4 and District 3,” DeLoach said. “I would like to expand upon this in the future but right now what was important was just to get the infrastructure to the Clyo area.”