New broadband service coming to Baldwin County

Company asks county for space lease

By Cliff McCollum
Posted 4/18/17

A new broadband service is making its way to Baldwin County, and Baldwin County’s commissioners are excited about the possibilities it could bring.

Point Broadband came to speak before the …

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New broadband service coming to Baldwin County

Company asks county for space lease

Posted

A new broadband service is making its way to Baldwin County, and Baldwin County’s commissioners are excited about the possibilities it could bring.

Point Broadband came to speak before the commission at this week’s work session, asking county leaders for rental space on the county’s vertical assets to place equipment to increase broadband access to different parts of the county.

Todd Holt, one of Point Broadband’s representatives, said the company had been in business for 130 years and had a great deal of expertise in telecommunications. They are launching this new service in three Southern state: Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

“We believe that Baldwin County may very well be the flagship geography for our business,” Holt said. “This is a unique county. It’s big and it’s got good density, but it also has a very underserved broadband market.” Holt said the company is reaching out to municipalities across the county to try to get as wide a coverage area as possible.

“We’ve been approved to get some other utility and municipal towers in Baldwin County,” Holt said. “We would like to cover the county from the Gulf up to Bay Minette and everywhere in between. We want to cover as many addresses as we can.”

Every commissioner said they thought this would be a good thing for county residents.

“I get emails every day asking what we’re going to do about broadband access,” Commission Chairman Chris Elliott said. “It’s a problem when we’ve got kids that are taking their computers home and they don’t have access to the internet. It’s not a problem of just one service provider in some of these areas - it’s having no service provider.”

Commissioner Frank Burt said he felt anything that could be done to improve access was a positive.

“This is something people really need and that they’ve continued to ask for,” Burt said. “Whatever we can do to move this forward, let’s do it.”

Commissioner Tucker Dorsey said improved broadband service would benefit more than just residential consumers.

“Good broadband is what we have to have for economic development,” Dorsey said. “It’s vital to keep us moving in the right direction across the county.”

The commission approved the new lease agreements with Point Broadband at its April 18 meeting.