Debate about Broadband Service Sparks in Lakeland, Fla.

By Nolan Miles
P3 Kentucky Staff Writer

Lakeland, Fla., city officials are on the fence about whether to enter a public-private partnership to supply broadband services to residents or launch a public-service pilot program.

Many city officials are leaning towards the implementation of a partnership with a private corporation for fear of competing with private broadband services with a pilot program.

“While we can all see the advantage of a public utility,” said Commissioner Don Selvage, “there is the cost, and we are charged primarily with protecting the taxpayers’ investments in this.”

One local commissioner, however, has strongly encouraged the launch of a public-owned broadband service.

“We, Lakeland, are unique. We have a rich tradition of being leaders and being on the forefront of stuff,” Commissioner Justin Troller said. “This is just another thing.”

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