2018 - 2019 Polk Vision Annual Report PV Annual Report 2018_WEB - Page 24

23 SMART Communities LEAD Team The traditional work of the Smart Communities Team has been to educate and build community consensus around the vital importance of a robust broadband network in Polk County. 2017-2018 HIGHLIGHTS: ABOVE: This past year, the Team expanded its work to include the identification of the links necessary to create a connected, multi- jurisdictional municipal system and the adoption of technology to facilitate data driven decision making and problem-solving efforts. ABOVE: On January 25, 2018 the Smart Communities Team launched the first in a series of topical presentations. Partnering with both Winter Haven Economic Development Council and Chamber of Commerce, The Future of Infrastructure was held at the Polk State College, Center for Public Safety and featured Anthony Bartolomeo, President & CEO of Pennoni who discussed how strategically incorporating technology into infrastructure investments is critical to achieving reduced life-cycle costs and close the nation’s infrastructure deficit. Polk County ranks among 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) • A partnership between the City of Lakeland and the Polk County Public School District to connect more than 40 schools in the Lakeland area to high-speed fiber with 1 Gig service. • The City of Haines City is working with the Polk County Public School District to provide 1 Gig service to their schools. • Unprecedented collaboration and coordination with Florida Department of Transportation District One with respect to dig once policy and fiber installation along State roadways. • Resolutions adopted by the county and 6 municipalities supporting the broadband and smart technology efforts of the Smart Communities LEAD team. • Supported the commission of a Smart Communities assessment of the City of Winter Haven conducted by students from Florida Polytechnic University. Eric Labbe // Planning Manager, City of Winter Haven A smart community is one that not only encourages and facilitates the development of essential 21st Century infrastructure, but actively seeks to utilize that technology in innovative ways to improve the quality of life of its residents and guests.”