Point Broadband moving forward with internet alternative in Silverhill

Company backs off line-of-sight service amid waning interest, seeks town’s help in fiberoptic plan


SILVERHILL, Alabama — The town of Silverhill is considering a proposal to enter into a franchise agreement to provide fiberoptic service to area subdivisions after the company backed off on providing line-of-site service because of a lack of interest.

“We just didn’t get enough of a response,” said Sherry Sullivan on behalf of Point Broadband.

The town council voted in July of 2017 to approve a contract with Point Broadband to use the town’s water tower to install equipment for internet services.

At the town’s council meeting on Monday, Feb. 18, Sullivan said those who signed up for the service would be refunded and they are now working to provided DSLD fiberoptic service to some subdivisions who are otherwise unable to get high-speed service.

The town is now considering entering into a franchise agreement with Point Broadband to provide assistance in laying about a half-mile of fiberoptic cable along Alabama 104 and County Road 49.

Council members decided to hold off the vote in order to determine whether or not the agreement interferes with the town’s current agreement with Mediacom.

“In the agreement it states that the town cannot enter into any other agreement that might interfere with this agreement,” said Mayor Pro Tem Jared Lyles, a local attorney. “I’m betting that since this agreement was drawn up based on the Mediacom agreement, there is similar language in that agreement. Before we do this, we need to make sure that we are not interfering in that agreement.”

In other business from the Feb. 18 meeting, the council is considering a sponsorship for the Silverhill Veterans War Memorial.

Lamar Giles with the Silverhill Veterans Memorial Organization addressed the council at the Feb. 18 meeting, stating that the group had raised the $30,000 necessary to complete Phase II of the project, which is located at Paul Anderson Park across from Town Hall at the corner of Alabama 104 and County Road 55.

The first phase of the project, a structure made of polished black granite with etched artwork on both sides was designed by Paul Morris of PM Printing in Summerdale, along with metal “stationary flags” depicting all branches of the military, was dedicated in March of 2017.

The next phase calls for two 4-foot-by-8-foot stones next to the Memorial. Names of veterans from World War II to the present will be placed on both sides of the memorial.

“We’re still in the process of collecting all the names,” Giles said, “and will continue to do so up to the (Memorial Day Weekend) car show (in May). We anticipate being able to complete getting all the names during the car show and will cut it off when we get to 600.”

Funds will continue to be raised through the annual Car Show, which is held every year on Memorial Day weekend, generally the last Saturday in May. Services to honor veterans are also planned on Memorial Day and Veterans Day each year.

Mayor Tim Wilson told Giles that while there is a little money left in this year’s budget designated for donations, he wanted to explore ways to come up with additional funds.

The council also voted Feb. 18 to table consideration of four resolutions which have been recommended for passage by the Alabama League of Municipalities.

The resolutions mainly have to do with support or opposition to bills being introduced into the Alabama Legislature.

Lyles said they were asked to hold off on voting for one of the resolutions, which involved proposed legislation for an increased excise tax for fuel in the state.

Another resolution is asking the town to support legislation regarding Retirement Systems of Alabama, along with a resolution to oppose a bill which would grant total control of wireless systems by the FCC.

Lyles said that the League has also requested council members to write letters to legislators opposing a bill introduced by State Sen. Chris Elliott that would effectively eliminate municipal extraterritorial jurisdictions in the state.