Siloam Springs Residents Weigh in on City Cable Service Before Vote

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Thursday night Siloam Springs residents got a last chance to weigh in on a city-run cable, internet and phone service.

The proposal includes installing $8.3 million in fiber optic cable to directly into homes and businesses.

A service officials say pumps money back into the city.

“What we do make off our customers stays here in Siloam Springs to support the fire, police, and parks and whatever the city wants to spend the money on,” says Art Farine, City Electric Director.

If passed, the city says it will provide more bandwidth and faster service than other private contractors.

Benefits which city leaders say will make Siloam Springs more attractive to new businesses.

“Where there's point to point transport service that you get with fiber and companies can move lots of data back and forth between office locations to the internet or whatever," says Dave Stockton, Uptown Services.

But a coalition called Arkansans for Limited Government says the city government should not compete with local providers because people could lose their jobs.

“Let's just say that Century Link or Cox decided that they didn't want to compete here in this market and the employees that are currently here would be without a job. That's just a ripple effect of something of this magnitude," says the Chairman of Coalition.

The city says the project would be funded by reserve monies and would be paid off in 12 years. The vote on the issue is May 22. If passed, it will take a couple of years to construct the service.