Holmes County looks to China for possible investments

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 11:54 AM.

Jim Brook with Opportunity Florida came before the board during their Oct. 29 meeting to discuss the Florida Rural Broadband Alliance but was advised that since Goodman wasn’t present at that meeting the board didn’t feel comfortable approving the request at that time.

“Opportunity Florida is an economic development organization committed to growing the regional economy working within Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty and Washington counties,” said Brook. “The Florida Rural Broadband Alliance, LLC is a regional collaboration of local governments, community and economic development agencies from rural and economically disadvantaged communities. This is comprised of 15 counties within Florida's Northwest Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern and the South Central Rural Area of Critical Economic Concern.”

He added that after the five years, the city looked to possibly gain from the equipment if the city chose to be an Internet Service Provider.

“This will link together providers of vital public sector commercial services with private sector non-profit entities for the first time in these struggling regions of Florida,” he said. “At this time, only 39 percent of the FRBA region has broadband service.”

He said that at the end of the build out period, FRBA's project would deliver up to 1,000 times the existing capacity within the area.

“This is going to create jobs, enhance public safety, improve delivery of healthcare services, enhance emergency services, promote educational opportunities and so much more,” said Brook. “And with the expansion of technological need and even schools converting from physical books to digital it is vastly needed in this area.”

The next meeting of the Holmes County Board of County Commissioners is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Nov. 26.

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