jacksonWhen Travis Lewis was hit with a $600 charge for going over his monthly cell phone data allotment two years ago, he was taken aback to say the least.

jacksonJackson commissioners were put in a tough spot this month by county staff seeking special treatment for wireless internet towers that would exempt them from the typical oversight and public hearing process for erecting towers.

haywoodFinding a solution to the lack of high-speed internet in rural Western North Carolina has been on the minds of economic development officials for some time now.

fr skyrunnerIt’s hard to believe there are still developed neighborhoods in Haywood County that can’t get internet access or even landline telephone service, but it is a major problem in certain areas.

coverMelanie Williams was fed up. She could no longer run her web design business from her Crabtree home with the slow DSL internet speed from a cable provider. 

SEE ALSO:
• Skyrunner helps rural neighborhoods get connected
• Broadband master plan in the works for Haywood

“I was working on an e-commerce website for a client and I needed to add 100 products with corresponding images but it was taking about an hour for each photo to upload,” she said. “It was becoming a huge expense because I’d have to go into town to be able to work, and I couldn’t haul all my equipment around with me.”

When the sun sets in rural Fines Creek, the little community library gets bumping.

It may be after-hours, but any given evening, a steady stream of cars comes from miles to sit in the parking lot. It’s the newest take on the long-standing tradition of parking, except this love affair is between man and his computer.

fr jaxbroadbandThe gap between the haves and have nots in the world of high-speed Internet will get a little smaller this spring thanks to a start-up Internet company that will soon be beaming Internet service from towers in Jackson County.

Jackson County could be going from zero to high-speed in no time.

Two internet providers are laying plans to beam wireless internet into rural and remote reaches of Jackson — areas that until now have been underserved when it comes to high-speed internet access.

coverNowadays, coffee and wireless Internet go hand-in-hand; you can’t really have one without the other.

It is an expected amenity at coffee shops and bakeries. With the purchase of a coffee, tea or cinnamon bun, the customer is permitted to use the business’ Internet. It is so common that it has almost become a right — like free speech or the ability to vote.

A pending sale of 19 miles of fiber lines capable of delivering high-speed internet in the greater Sylva area could once again give internet customers there a third option.

If the sale goes through, Jackson County and the town of Sylva could recoup a portion — although not all — of an economic development loan extended to the company that built and operated the lines before it went out of business.

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