Walton County commissioners look to pilot program for broadband solutions

WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Walton County Commissioners are looking at ways to expand their broadband accessibility.

A feasibility study was recently presented to commissioners giving them options to address the issue.

"We can't expect economic development in this county if there is no Wi-Fi or internet connection or even cell phone connection in some cases," District 4 Walton County Commissioner Sara Comander said.

At Tuesday's county commission meeting, they discussed which option they most wanted to pursue.

They decided to start with a pilot project but say lack of funding is putting a roadblock in their plan.

"Well, we would set up connectivity around say the [South Walton] library and Flowers View and have a three-mile radius that someone using their library card could access the Wi-Fi and internet. Let's see how it works out. Is that enough area, would it have to be bigger, would enough people use it?" Comander said.

Officials expect the initial project to cost roughly a million dollars.

"It's just a little hiccup. You gotta have the money, but if we had the money we could start and send out for RFPs and RFQs and get it started tomorrow if we had the money," Comander explained.