About 1,000 customers are now hooked up to Owensboro Municipal Utilities’ residential internet service.

OMU’s fiber internet, or fibernet, is currently available in the southern and western ends of Owensboro, which includes portions of the Shifley-York, Apollo and Southeast Alliance neighborhoods.

Chris Poynter, OMU’s telecommunications superintendent, told members of the Owensboro Utility Commission recently that the number of customers online has exceeded projections. Poynter said he anticipated 1,000 customers would be connected for the entire fiscal year, which ends May 31 for OMU.

Beginning next month, OMU will work to provide internet service to its third segment, or a large portion of Owensboro, The new segment, which will extend the service to about 3,800 potential customers, will run east from South Griffith Avenue, with Griffith Avenue and East 20th Street as its northern borders and College Drive and West Byers Avenue as its southern borders, to Breckenridge Street.

Construction on the third segment is scheduled to start in January and end around May 2020.

Poynter said there is a backlog of about 110 customers, with a waitlist that extends into late February and early March. About 14% of potential customers are using the service. Poynter said customers on the waiting list are completed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

“Business is growing and doing well and having a backlog and the problems that Chris mentioned are problems of growth,” said General Manager Kevin Frizzell at the meeting.

OMU’s eventual goal is to provide residential internet to the whole city with a tentative completion date for 2023. The speeds offered include 50 mbps, 100 mbps and one gbps. OMU’s residential Fiber-to-the-Home project began in 2016.

OMU has budgeted for $3.6 million for 2020 to update its residential fibernet system.

Trey Crumbie, 270-691-7297, tcrumbie@messenger-inquirer.com

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