In issuing a request for proposals, the city required companies to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
Still, the interest from providers was clear: 12 companies submitted bids, including RG Fiber. A committee that reviewed the proposals determined the best prospect was from Allo, which is owned by Nelnet.
The city budgeted $350,000 to spend on the project, but at a Jan. 23 meeting, Council President Steve Owen asked whether the city should even be selecting a firm, given the wide interest from multiple companies wanting to invest in Spring Hill.
“We’re going to spend $350,000 and it’s supposed to bring in more competition,” he said. “But I think we’re actually scaring competition away by doing it because we’re picking a winner.”
Councilwoman Andrea Hughes, who served as a liaison between the council and the broadband task force, urged the council to accept Allo’s proposal — and to do so quickly.
In the days leading up to the vote, Hughes took to Facebook several times, urging Spring Hill residents to attend the meeting and back her preferred vendor.
“Tell the City Council that you want the City to begin Contract negotiations with Allo Communications NOW no more delays,” she wrote multiple times.
Fueling public suspicions is the broadband consultant’s ties to Allo. When it bid to work with the city, CTC touted its “deep relationships” with internet providers, including Google Fiber, MetroNet, Ting Internet and Allo. From that list, only Allo submitted a formal proposal.
- The Year the Internet Thought I Was MacKenzie Bezos – WIRED
- Easy ways to get the fastest internet connection possible in your home – Komando
- Elon Musk says Starlink internet private beta to begin in roughly three months, public beta in six – TechCrunch
- Verizon is canceling home internet installations during the pandemic – The Verge
- Ethiopia’s internet shutdowns are disrupting millions of lives – Quartz Africa
- How to check if your service provider is throttling your internet – CNET
- 8 charts on internet use around the world as countries grapple with COVID-19 – Pew Research Center
- How to boost your home internet speeds while you’re stuck at home: Tech Support – Yahoo Money
- Welcome (Back) to the Appointment Internet – New York Magazine