KINGSBURG, Calif. (KFSN) -- A ribbon-cutting ceremony in the City of Kingsburg on Tuesday morning celebrates the beginning of a new and improved local high-speed internet.
In the coming months, nearly 15,000 people and over 200 businesses will have access to a new internet option, which is owned by a local nonprofit.
The Kingsburg Media Foundation has been in Kingsburg for the last 13 years
In the last decade, it established its own Internet company called Kingsburg Fiber Internet.
Now, $1 million from the American rescue plan and a $2 million loan from the City of Kingsburg are allowing it to expand.
"It really came into light during COVID-19 during distance learning and people needing to work from home that there really needs to be another option. Not necessarily that the existing options were not good, but another option could be more beneficial to the citizens here in town," says Reggie Gierkie, CEO and President of Kingsburg Media Foundation.
Reggie is part of the team who first founded the nonprofit and has watched it grow.
In the last year, they have installed 17 miles worth of fiber-optic wiring in Kingsburg.
It's faster than typical wifi- but local city leaders say a bigger benefit is this new internet option means people who live here will have a greater reach.
"The big thing is that this will impact anyone in Kingsburg can get this, right, so if you are a resident or you're a commercial business, you will have access to high-speed internet, and I think from an economic development standpoint to that really helps us be more competitive," explains Kingsburg City Manager, Alex Henderson.
The nonprofit also focuses on giving back to underserved community members or people who might not be able to afford internet at full price.
Plans start at $50 a month and go up to $200 a month for businesses.
However, families who qualify can have up to $30 off their monthly bill.
Kingsburg's Media Foundation Fiber Internet will be available by the end of this year.
Those details can be found here.