County resident David Jones appeared before commissioners Monday and offered his help in securing good Internet service for Madison County.
Jones founded an Internet data center in 2001. He said it now has over 4,000 customers in 20 cities with 40 data centers.
Jones said Madison County is falling behind surrounding areas in terms of Internet access, noting that everyone, including farmers, needs good online access in the modern economy.
“If Madison County doesn’t do something, we’re going to be a donut hole,” said Jones, noting that businesses will come to surrounding counties, but not Madison County.
Jones said he also struggles to get good service in Madison County, adding that he is interested in helping the county, not for the money, but as a passion project. He said he is very familiar with building networks.
“It’s a passion of mine,” he said. “It’s not a matter of compensation for me. It’s a matter of finding a solution. I’m at the point that if the county isn’t doing something, I need to do something.
He said he will work with the BOC on developing a strategy.
“Money is out there, but if we don’t do something to find the money, it will go somewhere else,” he said.
The board appreciated Jones’ willingness to help. Commissioner Theresa Bettis said the school system desperately needs better options.
“We’re now a one-to-one county,” she said. “Every child has a device, which is great, but it won’t work if they don’t have access to the Internet.”
“We appreciate you turning in your volunteer application,” said commissioner Derek Doster to Jones.