Lakeland hopes to make deal with Summit soon

Amora R Jelo
A Lakeland Electric fiber optics technician, arranges a splicing tray after fusing together torn ends to repair a section of damaged cable. The city has been investigating plans to provide better high-speed internet options since 2015.

LAKELAND — Lakeland hopes to move one step closer to becoming a gigabit city this month. 

Lakeland city staff have been in lengthy negotiations with Summit Broadband Inc. out of Orlando to create a private-public partnership to bring high-speed internet to the city since last August. City Manager Shawn Sherrouse told The Ledger he anticipates a proposed contract will go before city commissioners for approval soon. 

“We expect to hear a final decision on all pending issues by June,” Mayor Bill Mutz said last month. “The commission’s interest is in getting this done.” 

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Commissioner Stephanie Madden, chair of the city’s Broadband Taskforce, said negotiations have “gone on longer than anyone expected.”

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