Commission votes to establish broadband cooperative

Published 3:55 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Lowndes Signal

The Lowndes County Commission is one step closer to establishing a cooperative district in preparation for the upcoming broadband construction.

Commissioners voted unanimously to approve a resolution to form a cooperative district with the towns of Ft. Deposit and Hayneville on Dec. 30.

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“I don’t think there is a commissioner on this board that is not in favor of the broadband,” said Commissioner Robert Harris. “We are all here for the betterment of Lowndes County.”

Ft. Deposit and Hayneville town council members will have to pass similar resolutions to join with the Commission as a cooperative district.

If the three entities join together, a board of directors will be created amongst the commissioners and council members and the cooperative district will join with the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission (SCABC), said Harris.

The SCABC is made up of other cooperative districts across Butler, Conecuh, Crenshaw, Dallas, Escambia, Lowndes, Macon and Wilcox Counties and A+ Community Solutions Incorporated (A+) — the entities involved in the broadband construction.

A+ has invested a large amount of time and resources to see the broadband project’s completion, said Larry Morrow of A+.

“This is a design we created after 15 to 16 years of consulting,” Morrow said. “We are looking to bring in the money to see what we can do to complete the project in three years.”

For its investment, A+ looks to serve as the system’s operator alongside another company or sell its services across the network, according to Morrow.

The project is scheduled to break ground March 1, pending the results of the Environmental Impact Statement, said Community Service Provider Regional Manger Aaron McCall.

Ft. Deposit’s town council is scheduled to vote on the resolution during its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:45 p.m., Jan. 10.

Hayneville’s town council will also discuss the issue at 10 p.m., Jan. 3 at the Hayneville Municipal Complex.