Farmington officials have authorized up to $16,750 towards a municipal broadband feasibility study, provided Farmington Hills officials award a contract for the project later this month.
A joint task force has since 2018 looked at creating a city-owned, high speed internet service. The group received seven responses to a Request for Proposals issued in 2019 and has recommended hiring North Carolina-based CCG Consulting & Finley Engineering.
The study will include an assessment of current facilities, a market assessment, and community engagement.
Mayor Pro Tem Joe LaRussa, a member of the task force, said the study is expected to take four months. The company will present its recommendations to both city councils, either separately or at a joint meeting.
LaRussa said each city will then decide whether and/or how to proceed. They could work together or each explore their own system.
Mayor Sara Bowman asked whether approving the $16,750 expenditure, 25 percent of the $67,000 project cost, obligates the city even if Farmington Hills does not award the contract.
LaRussa said it did not.
“We could offer the consultant our share and ask if they want to take on that size of a project,” he added. “I suspect the answer would be no.”
More information about the proposal is included in the council packet, which is posted on the city’s website.
You can learn more about the Municipal Broadband Task Force at fhgov.com.