A proposal to provide wireless Internet service to 180 households in southwestern Douglas County was presented Wednesday to Douglas County commissioners.
County leaders were asked to sign a loan guarantee so Lawrence Freenet would have a better chance to obtain a $150,600 loan for what was called a pilot project.
“There would be no cost to the taxpayers,” Lawrence Freenet founder Joshua Montgomery said.
The establishment of the wireless service would cost $126,000, Montgomery said. The remaining $24,600 would be held by the county in escrow, he said.
The service would cost each household $44.98 per month. Lawrence Freenet hopes to find an existing tower for the service, Montgomery said.
Commissioners Charles Jones, Nancy Thellman and Jim Flory expressed interest in the proposal but made no decision.
Flory said he would like see options explored for tapping into President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package, which has funds for rural broadband. Jones said he wasn’t sure now was the time to become involved in such a project, considering the current economy.
Commissioners will discuss the issue again on March 11.
In 2008, Montgomery and Freenet unsuccessfully lobbied city commissioners to co-sign a $4.9 million loan to allow the Internet service provider to expand in the city.