Tallahassee Conflicted Over Broadband


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As communities across the United States prep for 5G, Tallahassee, FL has opted for, and then against, upgrading their city.  In early March, City Commissioner Elaine Bryant campaigned for improved broadband services, reports the Tallahassee Democrat.  After voting with the 3-to-2 majority who voted in favor of exploring broadband option, Bryant later changed her stance.

In explanation, Bryan said, “I am pro-business for this community.  And I think that the city right now is not in the business of this particular industry. And I think we need to continue to do what we can to grow business in our city. I’m not in favor of the city owning broadband.”

Dismayed, fellow commissioner Jeremy Matlow said, “There hasn’t been any proposal for a $300 million project.  Doing a study doesn’t create any direct competition with the private sector. This is simply a feasibility study, which will show what city government’s needs are, where we have fiber infrastructure in our city and what the demands for fiber in the future will be.”

All five commissioners continued to discuss the issue of how best to serve Tallahasee.  They have also talked with outside vendors like MetroNet to investigate the possibility of a third party assuming the responsibility for an upgrade.  No final decisions were reached, but progress minded Matlow said, “I will continue to support a fiber feasibility study. It’s my goal that Tallahassee connection speeds are competitive and that we lead the state in connectivity across our city.”  

April 29, 2019

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