Local News

High Speed Internet Moves Ahead

April 11, 2017

 The road to high speed internet in Tusayan is being cleared. The Arizona Department of Transportation has approved a permit to allow a city hired contractor to create conduits circling most of the city that would house fiber optic cable. The price tag is $454,000. If all goes well the project could be complete by June 25th.

This does not mean high speed internet is imminent. There’s the matter of bringing fiber optic cable from Williams to Tusayan and eventually to the Grand Canyon.

Previously that was an elusive and expensive pipe dream. That changed when the Arizona Corporation Commission changed the rules for the Arizona Universal Service Fund (AUSF) allowing that fund to finance a program to connect rural schools to the internet. According to a Corporation Commission news release, “The AUSF would be used to create state matching funds that draw additional Federal Education Rate (E-Rate) funding,” Previously it was just for phone service is rural communities. It’s been expanded to include the internet.

Eight to 13 million dollars are available and Tusayan is hoping some of that money can be used locally. There is a catch, the Town has to partner with the Grand Canyon School District as the intended purpose must have an education benefit. However, if the state is going to pay for fiber optics to run from Williams to the Grand Canyon School District, there is no reason why Tusayan can’t plug into that cable. That’s why it’s building the conduit.