Hope-Prescott Cable TV is investing over $1 million to upgrade its network and distribution systems in order to launch “true Gig speeds” to all of the homes and businesses in the towns of Hope, Prescott and Emmett as soon as early 2023.
The construction of this service will begin in mid-2022 with the goal of the Gig-a-bit service becoming available in early 2023. This service will be available to all residents and business.
“We’re not going to be cherry picking areas,” Stacy Eads, Area Manager of Hope-Prescott Cable TV, said. “That’s one thing I want to stress here is that we’re going to be providing this service to every resident of Hope, of Prescott and of Emmett. To me that’s huge; you don’t expect to see that unless it’s in a bigger city.”
Currently the service provides up to 250 Megabits a second of internet but with this project, it will increase to 1,000 Megabits a second, quadrupling it from before.
“Last year during the pandemic, it was really highlighted that the fact with a lot of people working from home, a lot of people having their kids at home and doing schooling from home, more entertainment options now with streaming and things of that nature and sharing photos and all, high speed internet has gotten to being very helpful and very, very important to people,” Walter E. Hussman, Jr., Chairman of WEHCO Media, the parent company of Hope-Prescott Cable TV, said.
Eads agrees that the pandemic was a huge factor that lead to the creation of this project.
“Over a year ago, everybody’s life drastically change, nobody was left untouched by this,” she said. “The one thing I think about it that this is the best time to start this project. We don’t know what the future holds but we’re going to invest in the future.”
Hussman says that this is a huge step forward to increasing internet access to small towns across the United States.
“This is good news for smaller towns throughout Arkansas and throughout America,” he said. “We’re investing a lot of money in Small Town America. This is hopefully going to help Small Town American the ability to compete with larger cities in attracting people.”
WEHCO and Hope-Prescott Cable TV are not releasing prices for their gigabit services yet, but it will come out closer to its release.
“When we get ready to launch it, we’ll be putting out what the actual price would be, but it won’t be any impact to the current prices we have in place,” Eads said.
Vice Mayor of Hope Kiffinea Talley is very happy with what this means for the future of the City of Hope
“The City of Hope is always pleased when a company reinvests in the city as it not only benefits the city, but the residents as well,” she said. “This announcement will boost the city’s infrastructure as well as advance its economic development and will improve the citizens’ quality of life.”
Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver is equally as excited about what this means for his city.
“We’re really going to enjoy it because we have computers in our officers and the banks and all over and everything’s slow so this would be one less problem,” he said.