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Metronet franchise agreement approved by DeKalb City Council

Matthew Apgar -
A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in DeKalb.
Matthew Apgar - A sign is photographed on Thursday, July 6, 2017 in DeKalb.

DeKALB – Metronet, one of the largest fiber-optic communication service providers in the Midwest, will expand its service to DeKalb after the City Council unanimously approved a franchise agreement with the company Monday night.

By entering into the agreement, the city has allowed Metronet to build, maintain and operate a cable system in the city. In exchange, Metronet will pay a franchise fee to the city on a quarterly basis.

The agreement also says the city will receive an amount equal to 5 percent of Metronet’s annual gross revenues in the franchise area.

A public hearing was held Monday before the council’s approval, and the question was raised whether improved service would be rolled out to certain parts of the community first.

Kathy M. Scheller, a member of Metronet’s external affairs division, said the company designs an entire city at one time, and the areas lit up first usually are closest to feeder lines.

“But we literally are doing quite an ubiquitous build here in DeKalb, so you’re not really going to notice any differential treatment of any particular area,” Scheller said.

In addition to providing high-speed phone, internet and TV services, Metronet also will provide a local retail store that will allow customers to test services through interactive kiosks, sign up for services and pay bills. The goal is to establish the store within six months of service deployment.

Metronet also is in the middle of plans to expand into Sycamore. A special use permit that will allow the construction and operation of a 52-foot commercial antenna tower at 2535 Bethany Road was approved Monday without opposition by the Sycamore Planning Commission.

The proposal is expected to be taken before the Sycamore City Council meeting during its meeting Monday, City Manager Brian Gregory said.

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