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Lakeville pursues broadband internet service

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Updated: Mon 6:49 PM, May 22, 2017

The Town of Lakeville is looking for a new identity after the rerouting of U.S.

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“The traffic count went from about 26,000 cars down to about 5,000 cars per day,” said Carol McDougal with the Lakeville Redevelopment Committee. While the highway was the town’s traditional lifeline for years, Lakeville was one of five communities across the United States to win a Cool and Connected Planning Grant.

“The idea that the Town of Lakeville could use this grant to create more digital inclusion for all of the patrons in the area all the people that’s exciting,” said Rachael Schoonaert with the Lakeville Library Branch. The library has stopped the practice of sending late notices via the U.S. Mail and Lakeville hopes to turn what is now one of its worst weaknesses into one of its greatest strengths by improving internet access.

“I know what the town people would love, and that’s free Wi-Fi but I don’t know if that’s entirely possible,” said McDougal.

It’s possibly ironic that the completion of the town’s online grant application was followed by a three day internet outage, and equally ironic that the dark fiber broadband Metronet line that potentially holds the key to the town’s future follows the lifeline of the past–the old U.S.

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“We just we need more options and we have broadband that runs right down the center of town, Metronet runs right through town, so it goes all the way from South Bend to Plymouth and we hope to take advantage of that situation,” said McDougal. “If we had different types of services that businesses can take advantage of, it might make the town more appealing to a new business that would want to move into town.”

A delegation from Washington, D.C. (USDA and EPA) will come to Lakeville this week and talk about all the options the town has to become a broadband community. Public input is being sought Wednesday night from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the fire station.

The Cool and Connected grant won’t pay to help the town tap into the dark fiber line, but once the plan is in place, the town will be connected with federal programs that do deal with financing.

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