A new TV, internet and phone service provider is coming to Kane County, along with some wins for local taxpayers.
Indiana-based MetroNet Inc. met with Kane County officials Tuesday to pursue a cable franchise agreement. The company uses a high-speed fiber optic delivery system that may also provide a second cash infusion into the county's coffers. If the company uses the county's fiber network, it will mark the realization of one of county board Chairman Chris Lauzen's new revenue ideas.
MetroNet already has about 150,000 subscribers. It provides service in Plainfield, Bloomington, Romeoville, Montgomery and North Aurora. It's also bringing fiber optic service to Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles.
There are plans to continue into South Elgin. The company wants to include the unincorporated areas of those communities as part of its push into a market dominated by companies like AT&T and Xfinity.
MetroNet's Kathy Scheller told county officials the 100 percent fiber network would provide internet speeds up to 100 times faster than what residents currently receive through traditional providers. No buffering for streaming content, no shared connections, no loss in speed or quality no matter how many people in the home are using the connection, and no contracts for residential customers.
"This is the best technology available," Scheller said. "It is the wave of the future."
It's also a wave of cash for the county. Cable providers pay a franchise fee of 5 percent. That would be on top of an annual lease for the use of the county's fiber lines.
County officials had not yet estimated the income potential of the deal. But the county board's development committee pushed the plan forward with no objections.
Scheller said the company would offer an introductory plan for phone, TV and internet service for $65 a month.