County commissioner proposed brining down broadband installation fees

FAYETTEVILLE, WV (WOAY) – With remote learning and working now a part of everyday life, the case for broadband expansion has taken front and center stage, but what are the main obstacles standing in the way?

Fayette County Commissioner John Brenemen believes a step in the right direction would be changing county code that puts in fees for installation. 

“They have a $350 charge for all the equipment and then $150 dollars for a technician that comes in and does it,” Brenemen said. “But in other counties the quickest internet is through this fixed wireless broadband and it’s only $39 a month, so in the long ring you’re going to save a lot of money.”

That is for consumers as Brenemen says one of the main goals is to reach the most remote ends of the county.

For the county itself, it costs $500 for the application and $2,000 for the building of the tower. 

That is why the county brought in the county code enforcement office and those who have been working toward a broadband plan to Friday’s commission meeting to see about getting rid of those fees. 

Jeffrey Proctor is a member of the West Virginia Broadband Enhancement Council and had the same suggestion.

“My suggestion is that we take a new look at the regulations that are set up governing towers and adjust those accordingly, including fees,” Proctor said. 

So from here, they plan to continue to workshop to see if getting rid of the fees would be possible. But Brenemen says over the next few weeks the county plans to hit the issue hard. 

“We have an opportunity to really grow the county in the right direction by bringing more people in, establishing more businesses, and bringing in business that will have jobs for our citizens, and that’s what we’re here to help do,” he said. 

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Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.