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Council to hear proposals for wireless service
New round of bids for system to be heard tonight at meeting
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    The Statesboro City Council meets tonight to consider a new round of proposals for the installation and operation of wireless broadband/high speed internet service.
    The council met on April 1 in a called meeting to consider entering into a contract with Clearwire Communication. At that time, the councilmen voted unanimously to re-bid the contract, citing the desire to make the selection process fair for all parties interested in submitting a proposal.
    The city has been awarded a Georgia Wireless Communities Program grant from the state in the amount of $323,000. In order to utilize the grant, the city will have to put up a 50 percent match, or $164,649. However, figures from Karl Edwards, the city’s wireless consultant from Excelsio Communications, show the city would need to come up with an additional $200,000 from its budget in order to make the project viable.
    The city hopes to realize at least $3,000 in savings, per month, on existing cellular service. Currently, the city utilizes cellular phone cards to access the Internet out in the field, which is done primarily by police personnel using their data terminals. Should the project be approved by the council, residents, businesses and student will also have an opportunity to take advantage of the city-wide wireless system, if they elect to sign up for the service.
    In other business, the city will also hear three appeals from Southern Outdoor Advertising Partners LLC, which sought to erect three billboards in Statesboro – one each on Fair Road, Highway 67 South and Northside Drive East, all near Veteran’s Memorial Parkway.

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