City Council Chambers at Socorro City Hall

More broadband options are coming to Socorro, and groundbreaking for new fiber-optic lines in the city will happen later this year.

TDS Telecom commit­ted in 2021 to offer high-speed internet in the city of Socorro, with a franchise agreement with the city.

Since that agreement, TDS has completed the engineering for the Socorro build and has been in contact with city staff to start the permitting pro­cess, Josh Worrell, senior manager of development for TDS, told the Socorro City Council last week. Construction on the new TDS lines is expected to begin within the next two months.

TDS has already found a contractor to build the network, but that contractor was acquired by another construction company. The new contractor has verbally committed to honoring the contract that TDS has already negotiated, said Worrell. Final contracts still need to be signed.

The project will use directional boring to place 100 percent underground cables. To complete that boring, TDS will access right of ways and public utility easements, which can be disruptive, said Worrell.

Residents will be warned before disruptive construction begins near them, he said.

TDS offers broadband, cable and phone service. The entry-level broadband speed will be 300 megabits per second symmetrical, at $40 per month. There is an addi­tional $7 cost for the router.

TDS offerings go up to 2 gigs upload and down­load speed. The company also participates in the federal plan that offers dis­counted internet services for households that qualify at speeds of 100 Mbps.

In other business:

The council heard from Dave MacNeil, an owner of Carolina’s Choice. The can­nabis company has spent $2 million to purchase the old Solaro Energy build­ings on Enterprise Road.

The business will grow and manufacture cannabis. MacNeil said he wants to start a grower program to educate more people on cultivating cannabis and they’d like to lease space to other growers, with a potential revenue-sharing model.

The business expects to employ 20 to 40 people.