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Lakeland’s Budget Is In Trouble- Broadband Could Be a Solution

The powerhouse Lakeland group, known as the Lakeland Economic Development Council, released its recommendations for the city last week. The president of the LEDC, Steve Scruggs, discussed possible solutions that the group had for Lakeland. One of the most significant proposals was a 2% tax increase on all hospitality-related activities in the Lakeland area. That includes all prepared food and beverages in the Lakeland city limits. Key Points Lakeland is facing a budget shortfall in the future caused by the loss of the Lakeland Regional Medical Center lease The LEDC has…

Lakeland Commission Fails to Put The Broadband Issue To A Public Vote- But There Is A Silver Lining

In a commission meeting that stretched close to three hours, Lakeland Commissioners had a lot to talk about. But for the last hour and a half of the meeting, they discussed the broadband project. And in a rare display within the chamber, almost every commissioner weighed in the issue at length. It is fair to say that many commissioners had a nuanced view; they were aware of the benefits of having high-speed access to the internet, but a majority had concerns. In the end, the commissioners settled on three things: They…

Florida Has Strict Regulations About Municipal Fiber Projects, But Lakeland May Be Grandfathered In: What You Need to Know

UPDATE: During the commission hearing on 12-2-19, Lakeland’s interim city attorney Palmer Davis stated that he had spoken with the law firm that had helped to draft the bill about the “grandfather clause” and that Lakeland most likely would not be able to fall under the grandfather clause. This changes the dynamics a bit, but in an effort to stay transparent, LakelandFiberNOW is leaving the post public Back in the 2010s, there was a push from many municipalities to build networks and connect their citizens with fiber internet. Cities like Chattanooga,…

Lakelanders Deserve High Speed Internet- A Guest Column by Commissioner Justin Troller

Imagine paying for something very valuable for decades and not being able to use it. Then imagine a privileged few get to use it, but you don’t. That’s the situation Lakelanders face today. Lakeland owns more than 330 miles of fiber network infrastructure. This infrastructure uses a particular type of cable that utilizes light, instead of electricity, to transmit information. In the past, the cable was installed for communication between critical municipal services. Then Lakeland began providing that fiber to a select few who find it in their best interest to…

5G and Elon’s Satellites Aren’t Going to Save Us: Why Fiber is the Best Bet for Lakeland

The Million Dollar Question: Can We Use Wireless Technologies to Provide the Last Mile of Connectivity to Save Money? One of the most common questions about the Lakeland fiber project is how the Last Mile should be connected to the network. For those unaware, the Last Mile is a term that means the final step between the internet cable infrastructure and a person’s home or place of business. In the industry, this is typically the most expensive part of infrastructure deployment and has been at the heart of the discussion with…

Lakeland’s Community Broadband Meeting

The city of Lakeland is interested in your opinion on building our very own high-speed internet project. They are holding a public forum Tuesday October 1st at the RP Funding Center. Join us as we learn, engage and ask questions about Lakeland’s chance to build an infrastructure project that can connect us with a faster, cheaper and better internet. For Those Unaware…. Lakeland already has over 300 miles of existing fiber-optics already in place. It’s already being used to bring high-speed internet to local schools, the Lakeland Library, and other municipally-owned buildings.  The plan…

Lakeland’s Move Into Municipal Broadband

For over 20 years, Lakeland has slowly installed fiber optic cables. These installations have enabled the city to provide high-speed connectivity to local libraries, Lakeland electric substations, Polk Country School District, public safety and other facilities. Also, Lakeland leases dark fiber to local suppliers to introduce high-speed internet connection to businesses and other vital organizations in the area. SurfLakeland is known to provide wireless services for free through portions of Downtown Laketown. They make use of a fiber network to connect wireless antennas across the whole city. The problem is that…

The City Of Chattanooga: A Municipal Fiber Success Story

Chattanooga, Tennessee is a shining success story of a Municipal Internet Network. In the beginning, they led the fight for a better internet for their citizens. And that bet paid off. According to Consumer Reports, Chattanooga’s Fiber Internet provider has some of the highest marks in the country for reliability, speed, and value. Only surpassed by the trillion-dollar company Google in customer satisfaction. So how did such a small city manage to build such excellent internet infrastructure and what are some of the benefits? Let’s dive deep and take a look…