The Christian County Economic Development Corporation held its annual meeting on Friday at the Taylorville Memorial Hospital auditorium, to review ongoing economic development efforts in the county.
The board reviewed specific projects being worked on by executive director Mary Renner in their board meeting, then following lunch the board and invited guests heard a report from facilitator Dick Adams on the ongoing Christian County C-E-O, or “Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities” program, which has 8 Christian County high school seniors enrolled.
Guest speaker for the event was Billy Williams, president of Computer Techniques, Incorporated, who talked about the challenges his company had in installing a fiber optic network in Taylorville to deliver the Internet as well as cable TV and phone service.
Williams told the group that he and co-owner Adam Vocks, created the idea of a fiber optic network for Taylorville about 5 years ago. They sold their wireless internet network to give them about a million dollars toward the 4-million dollar cost of the project. Williams said after being turned down by multiple banks, they decided to just start burying cable and hoped that their take rate would be high enough to show a bank the project was viable.
Williams said that they basically took each chunk of borrowed money to build other sections of town, until they proved that their venture was worth the risk to a bank.
Williams told the group that most of Taylorville is now built, with some 190 customers now pre-signed up in the Bertinetti and Lake Shore areas for their fiber optic internet service.
Williams' company added a gigabit internet service earlier this year, and the take rate for new customers has been over 80-percent, the highest in the United States.
Williams added their future plans are to expand their fiber optic network into more communities.