Technology for Rural America (TFRA), a company with expertise in broadband services, will be retained to consult with the Bossier Parish Police Jury and help identify potential broadband service providers for parish residents in underserved areas.
Jury members unanimously agreed to enter into a contract for up to 60 days with the company, whose founder is the retired president of CenturyLink. Parish Administrator Bill Altimus said the team at TFRA worked with former president Glen Post and have expertise in the field.
“They are all very knowledgeable on communications, broadband in particular,” Altimus said. “We have numerous proposals from numerous companies that want to do things in the parish, ranging from wireless to fiber. These people have the expertise to evaluate these proposals. They will be a great value to us.”
Altimus said the TFLA plan is divided into phases which should take about 90 days to complete. Those phases include establishing a communication plan for the jury’s Broadband Action Team, establishing network strategy, expediting the funding process and evaluating potential service providers.
Finally, TFLA will help make the final selections and facilitate negotiations for mutual accountability agreements between the parish and those selected service providers. TFLA will also perform quality control duties by reviewing the work of providers.
“This is a month-to-month deal, not long term,” Altimus said “I do believe this is the path forward for us.”
Jury member Philip Rodgers, chairman of the jury’s Broadband Action Team, agreed the company would be the best avenue to help determine providers and areas of coverage.
“It’s (evaluating providers) not our expertise. We need someone to evaluate all these plans,” Rodgers said. “These people are in this business and will help us spend the money in the right way.”
Also during Wednesday’s meeting, police jury members:
Agreed to table until Nov. 17 approval of the site plan for Swan Lake commercial subdivision. (Located on the corner of Swan Lake Rd. and Duckwater Landing)
Approved application of Sanjeev Wahi to the Bossier City-Parish Metropolitan Planning Commission, for a Conditional Use Approval for the sale of high and low content alcohol for off-premise consumption at a proposed convenience store. (Located on the southwest corner of Swan Lake Rd. and Duckwater Landing)
Scheduled a public hearing on December 1 to consider reducing the speed limit on Myers Rd., from 25 miles per hour to 10 miles per hour.