The town of Palm Beach, Florida, has decided to clear its skies. Starting this summer, the city is engaging in an undergrounding project to move electric, telephone, and cable Internet infrastructure. City leaders have decided to take advantage of the opportunity and seek out ideas for Internet infrastructure, either publicly owned, or a partnership arrangement. Palm Beach issued a Request for Information (RFI) in February for Broadband and Communications Services; responses are due March 15, 2017.
According to the online information about the RFI:
The undergrounding project will continue in phases until every resident, enterprise and anchor institution is connected by and through underground services. This once in a lifetime event presents a unique opportunity for Service Providers to participate in potentially reducing their cost of providing infrastructure and enable Services to expand in to a new market.
Private providers have already approached the city for permission to install fiber-optic cable in Palm Beach rights-of-way (ROW) and the city hopes the additional revenue will ease the cost of the undergrounding project.
Palm Beach’s year-round population is around 11,000 but the coastal community swells to 30,000 during the tourist season. The community is actually located on a 16-mile long barrier island separated from its neighbor West Palm Beach by the Intracoastal Waterway. The community is affluent, with a median household income of approximately $125,000.
We’ve written about nearby communities in Palm Beach County, including Lake Worth, Florida, where the community chose to pursue a free public Wi-Fi project as a matter of social justice.
Check out the details on the RFI at the city’s website.