Walton United Broadband Initiative

DeFuniak Springs, Fla. - On Wednesday,  Walton County continued their search to find innovative solutions for providing high speed broadband internet to the under-served areas within the county. Walton residents have little to no service in most of the county.

"I live in a rural part of Walton County. Where we are limited to internet access to either '4G LTE' technologies or with satellite based internet, which is insufficient for our needs," Roy Barton, Walton County resident.

After receiving complaints from multiple residents about the issue, they came up with a new project. A group of concerned locals and commissioners sat down to come up with ways they can make a difference and how to fund it.

"Now, I'm encouraged. As you heard, we have money left over from the half-cent sales tax from the bridge of $6 million. It can only be used for or around the bridge with the park under it or to park under the bridge," Sara Comander, Walton County Commissioner.

They want to use the left over funds to conduct an experiment around the bridge. Officials say by putting up connections at the bridge, they would be able to see how well it would work and how far the service would reach.

"It would give us a baseline to go by and how we could connect. Because our ultimate goal is to have every home in this county that wants to have internet connection or wants to have broadband, we want that to be available," said Commissioner Comander. 

Especially with spring break season under way, the residents are concerned with what will happen in the future as more tourists come to the area.

"We live in the future. Walton County should be moving towards the future and I think with this meeting, they are moving in that direction. It's the right direction to move in," explained Barton.

Over the next month, they are going to do research to see if they can use left-over funds. There will be another meeting in April and hopefully they will have an answer at that time. 

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