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Lakeland seeks input on Internet demand

Lakeland is launching a campaign to collect information on the demand for broadband Internet accessibility in the city.

In cooperation with Connected Tennessee, city officials are working to encourage broadband Internet providers to expand high-speed Internet services to unserved parts of the city.

“Lakeland’s continued growth and success as a place to live and do business is explicitly tied to the ongoing development and deployment of new technologies and most notably, the availability of broadband,” said Ken Lipkowitz, president of the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce. “The successful deployment of broadband Internet citywide will enhance quality of life for all city residents, fulfilling the city’s motto, Where quality of life is a Way of life.”

The results of a recent business survey conducted by Connected Tennessee shows that an estimated $30 billion in online sales are earned annually by Tennessee businesses. This number alone illustrates how the adoption of broadband can change the framework of business, leading to a boost in the quality of life in communities around the state.

“Local leaders are realizing the importance of technology for quality of life, local entrepreneurship, and economic and business development,” said Deanna Ward, Connected Tennessee, East Tennessee State operations manager. “We at Connected Tennessee are excited to be working with Lakeland and are asking for the support of the community’s residents and business owners to visit our website and fill out our broadband inquiry so that we are able to identify where service is lacking.”

To take part in the survey, visit connectedtn.org/broadband-inquiry. You are not obligated to sign up for any service, nor is there any guarantee that broadband service will be expanded in all parts of Lakeland in the near future.

Broadband inquiries are able to identify:  1) residents or businesses who do not currently have access to broadband but want it; 2) residents or businesses who have access to broadband but desire different or additional service options; 3) those who do not currently have access to broadband service at their location and would like to report that information to help improve the broadband inventory maps for the city.

If you would like to assist in this effort or have questions, please contact Ward at 731-699-0234, or dward@connectedtn.org; or Thad Jablonski, Executive Coordinator, at Lakeland City Hall at 901-867-5402 or tjablonski@lakelandtn.org.

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