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Internet expanded for Brown County homes previously facing steep price tag

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Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 24, 2022

The cost to get Pamela Shanklin's family an internet connection in their Brown County home rounded out at over $14,000, until Spectrum finally expanded its offering to her rural neighborhood.

The company brought service into the family's community as part of the largest rural network expansion in Ohio and Kentucky, according to a spokesperson.

"Miracles can happen," Pamela Shanklin said. "The Bengals are in the playoffs and we have internet, which is something I never thought I'd see out here."

Seven months ago, Shanklin emailed WCPO after struggling to find a high-speed internet provider willing to serve her community. The only offer came with a staggering price tag, she said.

"(Spectrum) wanted $14,610 to run the cables back to my house," she said. "I asked them if I put it in and I pay for it, do I own it? No. So you can get anybody else back here once I run it and get that extra money? Yeah. How's that fair?"

Her home sits more than 2,200 feet from a road with service, and construction costs can be one reason internet access is difficult or expensive to get to new customers.

After Shanklin's story aired, though, she saw action.

"We'd see somebody from Cincinnati Bell measuring between the poles and somebody from Spectrum just driving up and down the driveway," she said.

In the fall, Spectrum started work to expand their network to 50 homes around Shanklin.

"We are very aggressive in expanding our network," Mike Pedelty, spokesman for Spectrum. "Just in the greater Cincinnati area we do thousands of network expansions every single year and we're going to continue that as company funded. Then, you put on top of that we're working with local, county, state, federal officials to find ways to get service to more people."

Even though their service order is still pending, Shanklin celebrated. Her son, Garth, 28, was prepared to one day sell his family's home for generations because of poor service. Now, he plans to hang around.

"With this (internet issue) being taken care of I really don't see anything that would stop me," Garth Shanklin said.