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By NIKOLLE KEENEY
Rantoul Press correspondent
THOMASBORO—Volo Broadband, a Champaign-based Internet provider, is prepared to start installing a new fiber optic system in Thomasboro that will provide high-speed Internet, telephone and cable service.
After the village board approved a franchise agreement approved at January’s board meeting, Volo applied for approval to cross U.S. 45. The company currently has a conduit in the ground running from Urbana to Thomasboro along the highway.
Volo CEO Peter Folk estimates approval will be granted sometime this week.
From there, Volo plans to install a “backbone” for the fiber that will span Church Street, covering the eastern edge of the town. Once installed, the company will begin branching out the service.
Folk said his goal is to have the backbone installed by the end of February so they can begin hooking up service in March. Residents closest to Church Street will receive first access to the service. Volo will continue extending fiber into the village and networking residents through mid-summer, weather permitting.
Once the work is complete, Thomasboro will be one of a few communities in the state to offer fiber-optic service.
“We are looking forward to this service and excited Thomasboro is on the front end of this new technology,” Mayor Tony Grilo said.
Residents will receive a postcard from Volo in the next few weeks, explaining what services the company will offer.
In other business at last Monday’s board meeting, trustee Fred Meek expressed concern that Pack the Park festival, which has been held in May the last few years, is likely not going to happen this year.
The event’s former organizers stepped down after last year, and the village has been unsuccessful in finding a group of individuals to pick it up.
“We’ve talked to a lot of people,” Meek said. “Our hope was that we would find a younger generation interested in taking over the event and that has not been the case.”
Meek said he still has hopes someone will take it over. There is already money set aside for the event as well as the continued support of the Thomasboro branch of Gifford State Bank.
Anyone interested in helping should contact the village as soon as possible.
The next village board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, March 4, at the Thomasboro Village Office inside the bank.