Until recently, Internet providers like Myakka Technologies were the low men on the totem pole.
Based in the unincorporated eastern Manatee County community of Myakka City, which has no stoplight to its name, this little company has only been able to exist because the big players — Verizon, Comcast and Bright House — had no interest in providing high-speed Internet service to the low-density rural byway.
But something big just happened for Myakka Technologies, the same thing that happened to tiny Indiantown Telephone Co. in Martin County, on Florida’s east coast.
The federal government came to the rescue with dollars from the economic stimulus designed to pay for beefing up country folks’ ability to access broadband.
Indiantown, with the federal financing, is already going all-fiber in western Martin.
Following closely on its heels, Myakka Technologies is now completing the paperwork on an $8 million government award and loan that will give this rural area — it is roughly equidistant from Bradenton and Sarasota — one of the speediest Internet networks in the nation.
For Indiantown Telephone, the all-fiber network-in-the-making has led to something even more unusual by Florida standards — a cooperative effort by the provider and local government to build a countywide broadband network that will be shared by both.
Martin County will piggyback on Indiantown’s fiber to get to schools and fire departments out west.
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