Smart Communities Team

Sustainable economic development, growth, opportunity and innovation are dependent on affordable high speed internet access.  Having a shared vision among all of the Polk County communities helps to ensure the alignment of broadband infrastructure necessary to meet the growing demand.


The Smart Communities LEAD Team continues its work in educating and building community consensus around the vital importance of a robust broadband network to support Polk County’s economic growth and prosperity.


Affordable, accessible high-speed internet facilitates many critical activities:

• Enables small business to compete in a global marketplace

• Means safer streets and communities

• Supports research and training at colleges and universities

• Greater opportunities for our students

• Better, faster, more effective healthcare


The Smart Communities Team aided by the Government Advisory Team drafted a formal Resolution supporting broadband expansion that has been adopted by:

                • City of Auburndale

                • City of Bartow

                • City of Davenport

                • City of Fort Meade

                • City of Haines City

                • City of Lake Alfred

                • City of Lake Wales

                • City of Lakeland

                • City of Polk City

                • City of Winter Haven

                • Polk County BoCC

                • Town of Dundee






Polk County ranks in the bottom 25 in the nation for high speed internet use (358th of 381)(American Community Survey, 2013)

Bottom 10 in the nation for STEM jobs

(91st of 100) (WalletHub, 2014)

Bottom 10 in the nation for households with broadband subscriptions

(94th of 100) (Brookings, 2014)

Click Image to View The Smart Communities 2016 Brochure 

Click on image to view the Polk County Broadband Plan 

Eric Labbe - Co-Chair, City of Winter Haven

Chad Tagtow - Co-Chair, Citizens Bank & Trust

Tina Barrios, Ph.D. - Polk County Public Schools

Cliff Bennett - Polk State College

Amy Black - Polk County Public Schools

Stacy Bolton - Lakeland Regional Health

Naomi Boyer - NOME, LLC

Terry Brigman - City of Lakeland

Richard Brown - City of Auburndale

Frank Canovaca - City of Bartow

Terri – Anne Crawford - Polk County Tax Collector

William DeWitt - Polk State College

Steven Elias - Pennoni

Ercan Elibol - Florida Polytechnic University

Jee Hoon Kim - City of Auburndale

Doug Lewis - Polk County BoCC

Paul Meyer - City of Lakeland

Stephanie Monk - Polk County Sheriff's Office

Bill Mutz - City of Lakeland

Hiep Nguyen - City of Winter Haven

Nick Nicholas - DSM

Brian Ross - City of Haines City

Chris Rudolph - Polk County Tax Collector Office

Randy Schamberger - Netsync Network

Don Selvage - SHR Human Resources, LLC

Tianna Sheppard - Frontier Communications

Marybeth Soderstrom - Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Steve Sowards - Inland Fiber & Data

Pat Steed - Central Florida Regional Planning Council

Mark Thomas - Warner University

William Twyford - City of Winter Haven

Bill Ward - Polk County Sheriff's Office

Ed Wolfe - Polk County BoCC




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