Dark fiber in Princeton will be lit, activated, and begin providing fiber-optic internet to Princeton residents, thanks to a lease agreement between the Princeton Electric Plant Board (PEPB) and Fastnet Wireless LLC.

Back in March, the Princeton City Council approved a Fastnet Wireless LLC application to install fiber-optic cable in Princeton.

The PEPB has in place a fiber-optic network that offers only fiber-optic internet for commercial use.

Fastnet Wireless LLC will be the internet service provider under the lease agreement.

“We’re just providing them fiber to facilitate fiber to the home,” said Kevin Kizzee, general manager of PEPB. “It makes it less expensive for them and easier for them because they don’t have to run fiber.”

Dark fiber is a fiber-optic cable that is inactive and not in use — PEPB has between 5 to 10 miles of fiber running throughout Princeton.

“We built a loop around town for our substations, and we’re using that for commercial only,” Kizzee said.

Dark fiber-optic cable, or fiber-optic infrastructure, can be leased to provide internet service to customers, commercial or residential.

Fastnet Wireless LLC and PEPB entered a dark fiber leasing model agreement, wherein the PEPB will not be responsible for any of the labor.

PEPB Network Administrator Colby Phillips said, “Our current fiber network was designed as a local loop for connectivity between our substations and office. We have utilized excess capacity on this fiber cable to serve businesses in the area but do not have the infrastructure to serve residential customers.”

In November 2019, Fastnet Wireless LLC announced its fiber internet launch in Princeton. One month earlier, they announced Lyon County fiber internet services.

According to a Fastnet Wireless LLC statement, they’re “Bringing this technology (fiber internet) to the areas the national providers disregarded.”

National providers are Comcast, AT&T, Spectrum, and several others.

According to Spectrum Enterprise, “A dark fiber lease can provide cost savings and greater flexibility, but also comes with an increased responsibility for maintaining and monitoring another layer of technology.”

They noted the disadvantage for dark fiber infrastructure is that maintenance and operation costs are greater, and it also presents larger capital investment and upfront costs.

Fiber internet offers faster speeds and greater dependability than DSL and cable broadband internet; fiber internet infrastructure is in transition in western Kentucky.

The primary fiber-optic internet service provider in Princeton is Mediacom.

After completing its nationwide $1 billion capital reinvestment project, it has established the largest fiber-optic infrastructure that Caldwell County can benefit from.

Mediacom stated, “We are committed to bridging the digital divide between major cities and America’s smaller regions by providing the best technology available.”

After the Fastnet Wireless LLC application was approved in March, in April the Princeton City Council approved a Comcast application to install a fiber cabinet along Park Avenue.

Internet service providers are seizing opportunities in rural markets, boosting rural Kentuckian’s internet speeds and dependability.