Escambia County is transferring ahead with plans towards a countywide broadband community following a examine that discovered the county has giant excessive velocity web gaps.
A late 2020 evaluation by Magellan Advisors discovered that the majority residents within the extra northern elements of Escambia County wouldn’t have any entry to the web at speeds outlined as broadband by the Federal Communications Fee.
The Escambia County Fee just lately voted unanimously enter right into a contract with Magellan for $645,000 in CARES Act funding for design engineering, detailed enterprise and monetary planning, together with grant providers and functions in a significant step towards a county broadband community. It basically will create a plan for transferring ahead if commissioners later decide the community is financially possible.
“I wish to thank my colleagues for persevering with to assist the growth of broadband web into the unserved, in addition to the underserved areas of Escambia County,” District 5 Commissioner Steven Barry mentioned. “Regardless that the franchising and licensing of cable and web corporations isn’t an Escambia County authorities proper or duty, I’ve hundreds of constituents whose high quality of life, work and training is negatively impacted by the standard of their web connection, so it’s a large precedence of mine.
The sooner examine recognized about three,000 underserved or unserved residents with out entry to true broadband in North Escambia. After the planning, the following step within the mission outlined by Magellan Advisors can be a fiber primarily based wi-fi community in North Escambia in areas from Molino north (pictured above). That transfer would take extra motion by the fee in coming months.
The Wi-Fi kind community would instantly provide excessive velocity web to three,000 underserved North Escambia residents Prices have been initially estimated at $79 per thirty days for a velocity of 150/50 Mbps. Extra fiber connections as much as a symmetrical (identical add and obtain velocity) 1 Gigabit would additionally turn into obtainable.
None of these North Escambia residents at the moment have entry to the federally outlined minimal broadband velocity of 25/three Mbps.
“Whereas I have no idea precisely what the answer seems to be like but, I’m assured that we’re going to put one thing collectively that can work nicely for all of Escambia County, particularly District 5,” Barry advised NorthEscambia.com. “It’s the kind of mission which might really change individuals’s lives ceaselessly.”
Magellan Advisors of Denver, Colorado, was chosen from 5 submitted. The corporate has executed related work in Florida for 25 governmental shoppers together with Fort Lauderdale, Palm Seaside and Seminole County.
The corporate estimates it’s going to take about 5 months to ship a last design and highway map, together with a marketing strategy, engineering design and deployment highway map.