FPB set to begin internet installations for FIS students

Board approves final details to help bridge the internet access gap.

The Frankfort Plant Board will soon begin modem installations in residences of Frankfort Independent School students who currently do not have internet access at home. At its December board meeting, FPB’s board approved final details of an agreement with FIS that will assist in the implementation of the project funded by a grant from the city through the Kentucky Capital Development Corp.

The goal of the modem project is to close the digital divide by providing internet access to students in order to better prepare them for school and for the workplace in the future. FPB has also installed internet hotspots at the King Center, F.D. Wilkinson Gym and the Walter Todd Community Center.

As retransmission fees to carry local stations have been increasing at exponential rates, the FPB board made the tough decision to cut some duplicative programming in order to keep rate increases at a minimum. The board approved the staff and Cable Advisory Committee’s recommendation to approve agreements with all of the Lexington stations (WTVQ, WKYT, WLEX and WDKY), the Louisville CBS affiliate (WLKY), and bringing back Louisville’s WDRB for its top-rated local news coverage.

The retransmission fees for this package total $15.71, an increase of $3.68 per customer per month. Keeping the stations FPB currently provides would cost nearly $20 in 2018, an increase of well over $7 per customer per month.

As part of an agreement with AMC Networks, FPB is required to move two AMC network channels from Preferred Cable to Classic Cable. The board approved moving BBC America to channel 93 and Sundance to channel 94. EWTN will move from channel 94 to channel 96. These changes go into effect Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017.

The board also approved an agreement with Viamedia for cable advertising managed services. This agreement will increase ad insertion opportunities from 25 networks to 50, which also increases visibility for local businesses.

In other business, the board approved FPB employee health plan precertification requirements, continuing FPB’s compensation plan, and retaining Crowe Horwath to conduct FPB’s 2017-18 financial statement audit. The board also approved an agreement among Kentucky municipal Southeastern Power Administration (SEPA) customers for 2018-19.

The FPB Board of Directors’ next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018 at 5 p.m. at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave in Frankfort.