Lakeland looks to provide residents with $20-per-month internet

Lakeland may be jumping into the internet provider business. A new 97-page report from a consultant says providing inexpensive internet access to resident could be profitable for the city and the people who live here.

“I think we can provide a better product at faster speeds and more reliable service at reduced cost,” commented City Commissioner Justin Troller.

He says the city would be able to provide basic internet service for as little as $19.99 a month, with high-speed, 1-gigabit service costing $99.99 a month.

If someone bundled high-speed internet with phone and cable, known as a triple play, the bill would be about $199.99 a month.

Along with saving money for consumers, the report says the city of Lakeland could profit as well. After five years, the city could clear $10.5 million a year.

To provide the service, the city could use fiber lines which it has been installing for 20 years. Right now, the city leases them out to big companies, such as Lakeland Regional Health.

Troller told FOX 13 News it should be a "no-brainer."

Commissioners just voted unanimously to direct staff to further investigate the idea. They will take a vote on the issue during an upcoming meeting.