Gainesville releases list of neighborhoods targeted for broadband

Press release from Connected Gainesville

A new city-owned high-speed internet option may be coming to Gainesville neighborhoods as soon as next year. After years of study, the consulting group Magellan Advisors released a draft map of where a municipal broadband system could be rolled out to over 11,299 houses in Gainesville under American Rescue Plan funds.

For years, community groups and elected officials have spoken about the need for high-quality, more affordable high-speed internet options. The pandemic has made that more critical than ever. Now, with COVID-19 relief funds and more federal money for high-speed internet, that hope is looking more and more like a reality.

The neighborhoods included in the first-tier rollouts are College Park, Fifth Avenue, Duckpond, North Lincoln Estates, Stephen Foster, Spring Hill, and more. You can view the full study and communities here: https://content.app-sources.com/s/3829429960824097/uploads/Images/210267_1-9119779.pdf

The study showed that the City could connect 11,299 houses, 13 public housing projects, and 1,892 businesses within the next year by using the budget request put forward by the Gainesville City Manager. This could save families over $500 a year while bringing high-speed fiber internet to families that are most in need.

“This would be a transformational change for our community, connecting kids with online education, creating jobs, and saving families money,” said Bryan Eastman, founder of Connected Gainesville, a local internet advocacy group. “Now we just need to let our City Commissioners know that this is something the community needs and demands, that we must bridge this digital divide.”

The vote will take place on August 25 at 6:00 p.m., and citizens who want more options for internet are encouraged to attend.