With the objective to make convenient, affordable world-class broadband networks available to all residents, Marion County, Florida contracted Televate to conduct a study providing the information needed to analyze, select, and implement the best solutions to improve broadband connectivity across this urban/rural county.
Beginning with an assessment of the current broadband conditions and market demand, the Televate team:
- Conducted a countywide broadband survey of residents and businesses to determine requirements, service options and gaps, barriers to adoption, affordability and other key data
- Interviewed and gathered data from internet service providers (ISPs), including service offerings, pricing, service areas, future plans, public-private partnership interests, and more
- Interviewed approximately 25 key stakeholders representing municipalities, schools, health, transportation, non-profit community service, government agencies, public safety, and others regarding their broadband experiences and requirements
- Engaged with the State of Florida broadband office
- Engaged with Local Technology Planning Team (LTPT) to gather their broadband requirements and facilitate collaborative discussions to advance the broadband assessment process
- Developed maps of broadband service gaps, including unserved and underserved census blocks throughout the county
- Assessed State of Florida legal statutes to provide recommendations on the creation of a municipal broadband enterprise owned and operated by the County
- Assessed State of Florida legal statutes to provide recommendations on the options and opportunities for broadband public-private partnerships
- Comprehensive assessment of all Federal and State broadband infrastructure and digital equity grants and funding programs
- Conducted a mobile coverage study of three cellular networks (AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon) over 280 square miles of county roads utilizing Televate’s Pinpoint™ application
The resulting recommendations addressed management and digital growth, technology options, financing and legal options and partnership options.