Jackson County Commissioners, in a recent budget session for fiscal year 2020-21, approved a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Smart City Capital, an investment company that will, will partners, help the county explore options for the development of adequate broadband here.
Smart City Capital representative Oscar Bode presented a general proposal to county commissioners earlier this month, and board members last week entered the MOU with the company that would in essence express that the county is willing to participate in a four-month exploration to determine if a formal broadband partnership might be feasible.
Smart City Capital, as others before it have proposed, wants to cobble together a plan that would be of no financial risk to the county, but bring in planners, electronics experts, fiber optics producers, and allow investors in the system to realize a return as it gets up and running with customers aboard. Eventually, under one scenario, the county could eventually take the system over after the investors meet their profit goals.
Bode indicated that Nokia is one partnering company that will be participating in the exploration.
One goal, commissioners have expressed in meetings on the topic, is to, sooner than later, bring broadband to even the remotest rural areas of the county, A high hurdle on the way to that goal has always been convincing broadband network builders and potential internet service providers that it would pay, since the volume of end users might not be enough to make profit in a reasonable time.
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