Columbia looking to update city facility leased wireless service

2 years 7 months 1 day ago Tuesday, April 19 2016 Apr 19, 2016 Tuesday, April 19, 2016 4:19:00 AM CDT April 19, 2016 in News
By: Katie Cammarata, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council said it will hire a consulting company to look into updating the wireless broadband service leased to city facilities like the University of Missouri, Columbia College and Boone Hospital Center.

Magellan Advisors will be looking into the current leased wireless service to decide if it would benefit the city to update the service and offer it to more Columbia residents and businesses. 

The city said Magellan will "determine the services that are available, providers, service level, pricing, and access."

The council said the update will hopefully speed the service up, as well as open it up to more residents, businesses and community anchor institutions. 

Although there were two bills proposed in 2015 that would limit how municipalities offer broadband service, neither were passed into law, and Columbia can legally update its wireless broadband service.

There are two more bills that could prohibit or limit municipalities from offering free internet service to those in the community.

House Bill 2078 would entirely restrict local governments from offering free wireless unless it offered the service before August 28, 2016 or if it meets any of the other four credentials. 

Senate Bill 946 would restrict any city, town or village from offering a competitive service unless it offered the service before August 28, 2016 or the "service is not being offered to fifty percent of the addresses by any combination of service providers within the boundaries of such city, town, or village." 

Neither of the bills have been passed into law as of April.

The city said, "Magellan's update is expected by summer 2016."

 

{Editor's note: this story has been corrected. The city of Columbia is not a wireless service provider.}

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