For the past 12 years, Hamilton County Communications, now owned by BSpeedy Wireless Inc., has used the Edwards County Courthouse rent-free to deliver internet service to some Albion residents.
Those days are nearing an end.
The Edwards County Board of Commissioners met for their June regular session Monday afternoon, hosting a meeting of the county’s Public Building Committee amid the board meeting. The primary topic for the PBC was the negotiation process between the county and BSpeedy for the company’s right to use the courthouse’s tower.
The initial agreement between the county and Hamilton County Communications 12 years prior saw the county compensated with free internet service for its courthouse. The board has since switched service providers for the courthouse, making the means of compensation no longer viable on the county’s end now that the most current lease has expired.
PBC Chairman Matt St. Ledger informed the committee that he had been in contact with BSpeedy, offering them a new lease of $500 per month in order to keep their equipment on county property. The ISP countered that offer.
“He sent me the lease, and came back at $150 is what he offered,” said St. Ledger. “He said the going rate was $1 per foot, which I think he’s got two antennae up there.
“So to me it should be double that.”