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Broadband Utility

Broadband Survey Results


The City of Lakeland currently owns and operates over 330 miles of existing fiber-optics that spans the entire Lakeland Electric service territory. Originally the fiber was installed to create efficiencies so those working in the field could communicate with office operations. Over the years, the usage of this large fiber-optic network has expanded to provide high-speed internet connectivity to the Polk County School District, local libraries, public safety entities and Lakeland Electric for substation monitoring. The City also leases fiber to local businesses like Lakeland Regional Health and other large users that require ultra-high-speed internet.

This public-owned asset is used primarily for City operations but with the growing demand for increasingly higher internet speeds, there is a desire to leverage the existing 330-mile fiber backbone and develop a business plan to offer residential broadband services. There are substantial costs involved with connecting customers to this existing fiber network.

View the City News Blog on the Broadband Community Forum

  • Fiber Map
  • Broadband Business Plan & Magellan Advisors

    Broadband Business Plan

    The City hired Magellan Advisors to create a Lakeland Broadband Business Plan. This plan outlines a number of critical decisions including risks, infrastructure needs, costs, pricing, take rates (number of forecasted customers) and operational requirements.

    Presentations | Magellan Advisors


  • Magellan Estimated Broadband Business Plan Break-Even Forecast

    Break Even Schedules & Cash Balances (Cumulative, Millions) for the Broadband Business Plan

    Accessibility Statement: The above chart shows Magellan's estimated Broadband Business Plan Break-Even Schedules and Cash Balances (cumulative, millions) from 2021-2040; with $0 from 2021-2030, $10.64 million in 2031, $21.54M in 2032, $32.7M in 2033, $43.48M in 2034, $54.58M in 2035, $65.62M in 2036, $76.57M in 2037, $87.41M in 2038, $97.95M in 2039 and $109.04M in 2040.


  • Assumptions & Costs

    Magellan Advisors presented the Business Plan and their findings to the Lakeland City Commission on Monday, August 19th. The Business Plan is built on critical assumptions that include:

    • Deployment of fiber to the home to 100% of homes and businesses within the City limits
    • About 44,000 total premises
    • City will offer bundled packages with Internet, television and telephone services
    • Effective take rates: 38% residential, 41% commercial
    • Two year build-out with engineering, funding, hiring before first service is available
    • Pricing levels based on creating the most competitive packages at the lowest rates
    • Financing and capital investment based on build out with operating reserves
  • Funding Requirements

    Funding Category

    Total Costs

    Service Area 44K Homes & Businesses
    Fiber Feeder/Distribution $53,308,812
    Fiber Service Drops $15,713,504
    Equipment & Implementation $10,686,640
    Building Improvements $800,000
    Total Capital Costs $79,593,698
    Working Capital $17,000,000

    Total Investment Required


    The funding requirement is $97.5M based on these key assumptions. This is the cost for the infrastructure and the components needed to connect the last mile and bring fiber to customers within the Lakeland city limits. There are major competitors in the market that offer internet and bundled services. The City of Lakeland wants community input before advancing any further.

  • Decisions

    The Lakeland Commission is exploring the community’s interest in a City operated broadband utility. Based on the background, assumptions and costs involved is their interest from Lakeland residents to move forward. In order to move forward, a funding mechanism would have to be put in place to cover the capital investment and operational costs of a broadband utility. This includes the infrastructure needed for the fiber to the premises connection and the back-office operations needed to operate to the high standards set forth by the City of Lakeland.

  • Residential Services & Pricing*


    Extreme 1 Gigabit Internet  $99.99
    Power 400 Megabit $59.99
    Value  200 Megabit $49.99
    Starter 25 Megabit $19.99


    Premium 1 Gigabit Internet + Premium Television $164.99
    Preferred 400 Megabit Internet + Expanded Digital Television $134.99
    Value 200 Megabit Internet + Basic Television $74.99

    Triple Play

    Premium 1 Gigabit Internet + Premium Television + Home Phone $199.99
    Preferred 400 Megabit Internet + Expanded Digital Favorites Television + Home Phone $174.99
    Value 200 Megabit Internet + Basic Television + Home Phone $119.99

    The Broadband Business Plan provides a pricing structure developed through industry standards, current infrastructure, buildout projections and customer research specifically catered to the Lakeland market. The Broadband Business Plan projects a 10-year time period before the new business would deliver a profit based on the factors of costs, pricing and buildout.

    *Pricing is based on market study by Magellan Advisors. The estimated pricing does not include applicable taxes and fees.

  • Community Input

    The City of Lakeland understands the importance of high-speed internet and what this resource could mean for the community. However, decisions must be made before the City Commissions sets policy to invest $97.5M into a new City operated broadband utility. The City Commission believes it is vital that the community is part of the decision-making process.

    We thank you for your input and participation in the 2019 Citizen Perspectives Broadband Survey (now closed).

  • Public Forum: Broadband Utility | October 1, 2019 | RP Funding Center


Media & All Other Inquiries

Kevin Cook
Director of Communications