CenturyLink said a project in the Licking and Houston areas is underway to bring service to rural areas. 

More than 2,400 households in the rural Houston and Licking areas are targeted under a government program by CenturyLink to bring better internet speed, the company said this week.

As part of CenturyLink’s participation in the FCC’s Connect America Fund II (CAF II) program, work is underway placing fiber-optic cable to provide high-speed internet service within the exchange areas of rural Houston and Licking.

Martin’s Construction LLC, Piedmont, is installing the line in the Houston and Licking areas. It is estimated that the total project will take four to six months to complete.

Here is the project area:

In Houston – CenturyLink will enable 38 network nodes (connecting points) to serve 1,039 CAF2-eligible living units and businesses.

In Licking – CenturyLink will enable 43 network nodes (connecting points) to serve 1,308 CAF2-eligible living units and businesses.

CenturyLink is placing about 258,243 feet of fiber — or about 48.91 miles — in the Houston area. Another 326,345 feet of fiber — or about 61.81 miles — are in the Licking area. The new lines will provide download speeds of at least 10 Mbps, good news for those without internet service, but still below minimum of 25 Mbps download that the FCC defines as broadband internet.

To date, CenturyLink has enabled approximately 90,000 locations in FCC-designated, high-cost census blocks in more than 100 Missouri communities.  It will use a portion of that funding to provide internet service with download speeds of at least 10 Mbps to more than 150,000 Missouri homes and businesses by 2021. 

Typically, network nodes (connecting points) are activated as they are completed, so some areas may have access to internet service sooner than others. 

“We know broadband brings many benefits to communities, including better access to jobs, education and healthcare services,” said Scott Pfister, CenturyLink vice president of operations for Missouri. “That’s why we’ve worked hard to expand broadband to more homes and businesses in our smaller, more rural U.S. markets.”

Depending on location, a variety of internet speeds may be available. Customers can order service or check service availability in their area by visiting https://www.centurylink.com/ordernow/ or calling 800-201-4099.

Gaining faster internet has been a high priority for municipalities in south-central Missouri. Some have deployed their own, while others have gained access through their cable company and telephone provider. Intercounty Electric bought TRAIN, a wireless service provider in Texas County, to gain knowledge about what steps it should take to serve rural customers. The City of Houston currently has a study underway to determine whether a municipal system is feasible.



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