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Fiber Study Update

Dear Valued NU Customers,

We have received the final report from Magellan Advisors and have begun internal reviews of the financial data and recommendations proposed. It will most likely be another 30 – 45 days or so before we are ready to present options to our board. Because it is a significant investment, we will have to research many funding options available. And, if we do move forward, it would most likely have to be a phased implementation approach. Our goal is to have a detailed implementation proposal which will identify the various phases and locations of those phases so that customers will understand where they would fall on the implementation schedule.

To provide some prospective though, even in a perfect scenario, if we had 100% of the funding to begin the build out over the entire county immediately, it would be a minimum 2 years and extend out to 5 years, to install the fiber throughout the county.

We are very focused on this effort and are diligently working towards completing our research and analysis, because we know this would be a huge benefit to Cocke County residents and businesses not to mention the benefits this would offer to improve efficiencies for NU as well as for all of the various government and public service (fire, police, schools, hospitals and medical related, etc) entities within the county. It is clear that a Fiber Optic Network is a key enabler for economic development opportunities, both commercial and residential, as well as a key enabler for improving the quality of life for Cocke County residents. The survey data from the study confirmed that residents no longer view “connectivity” as a luxury but rather a necessity just like they view electric, water, and sewer services.

We hope to have a clear picture of where we stand along with a roadmap for an implementation plan in the near future. We will put out a communication as soon as we are able.

Best regards,
Glenn Ray, General Manager,
Newport Utilities


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