Fayette County fights for high speed service - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Fayette County fights for high speed service

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

FAYETTE CO, TN (WMC-TV) - It may be hard to believe, but many here in the Mid-South are still struggling with a dial-up internet connection.  Now, one west Tennessee county is working to combat that.

Fayette County's library is popular these days - but not for the reason you think.  

"We typically have on average in a month anywhere between eleven hundred and thirteen hundred people who use library computers," library director Laura Winfrey said in a recent interview. 

County residents come to the library to use its high speed internet. 

Winfrey understands why. She too still uses a dial up connection at her house.

"Its incredibly slow, and more times than not, you get knocked off before you finish what you need to do," she said.

County leaders are working with non-profit Connected Tennessee to study the need for county-wide high speed service. 

"We have a lot of pluses in Fayette County, but this is one that is hanging us back," Fayette County Mayor Skip Taylor said.

Right now, high speed internet is only available to 40 percent of county residents.

"Internet access has become a daily part of life -- if they've got it at work they go home and don't have it," Taylor continued.

For school students, the need for high speed is great.

"I have some kids who have high speed and some who don't and have regular dial-up, and it makes a world of difference in how much they get done," said 5th grade teacher Kathy Foster.

"Its hard to get stuff done," added 5th grader Willie McNeal.

Every Fayette county resident will soon get information about this high speed internet project, and officials will ask residents to give their honest opinion about whether or not they think there's a need for high speed service.

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