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Saturday, May 14, 2022

Sumter County to use COVID-19 relief money to pay for rural broadband access

Sumter County is using COVID-19 relief money to pay for rural broadband access.

Sumter County and Charter Communications Inc. signed a public-private partnership agreement at the Sumter County Board of County Commissioners meeting on May 10. The agreement will provide access to a fiber broadband network capable of providing up to 1000Mbps download and 500 Mbps upload speeds to approximately 3,600 addresses countywide.

The addresses targeted are located throughout Sumter County in areas such as Croom-A- Coochee, Tarrytown, Mabel, Lake Panasoffkee, Adamsville, Tillman Hammock, Oxford and others. Some of these locations are adjacent to areas already served by providers including Charter Communications; however, these addresses were identified as having either no broadband access (unserved) or no access to minimally acceptable speeds of 25/3Mbps (underserved). In addition to high-speed internet access, they will have the option of mobile, TV and voice services through Charter’s Spectrum brand.

“Spectrum continues to invest millions across the country to extend its gigabit broadband network to communities that have no broadband access,” said Paul Hanson, Regional Vice President of Field Operations for Florida. “Our partnership with Sumter County is a prime example of how we’re working with local governments to effectively leverage Charter’s existing infrastructure and pair exclusive of the federally-funded Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) expansion already underway in the state with county-defined projects to help reach full broadband access across Florida.”

The broadband expansion project is expected to take about two years to construct, but must be completed within approximately four years as part of the rules associated with the county’s use of the funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

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Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

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A Village of Bonita resident is asking why our elected leaders are not involved in the Florida Turnpike extension that is threatening a historic community in Sumter County. Read his Letter to the Editor.

The Developer should pay for replacement of windmill and water tower

A Village of Charlotte resident, in a Letter to the Editor, contends the Developer should pay to replace the rotting windmill and water tower at Brownwood Paddock Square.

Officials should be smarter when it comes to windmill and water tower

A Village of Buttonwood resident, in a Letter to the Editor, contends that at a time when prices are rising, residents will be stuck with the cost of rebuilding a windmill and water tower at Brownwood.

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In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of De La Vista West resident raises his concern about a Sumter County commissioner who suggested the possibility of eliminating golf cart traffic on North Morse Boulevard.

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