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Still no deal for city, Internet provider
Wilson County NewsMarch 28, 2012 | 1,798 views | 1 comment
FLORESVILLE -- Concerns over exclusive use of frequencies has hampered the closing of a deal between the Floresville City Council and Floresville-based Practical PC DBA TopGun Communications. The council voted again at its March 22 meeting to table its vote on whether to approve the contract.
TopGun recently spearheaded Floresville FreeNet, which, through a partnership with businesses along C Street downtown and on U.S. 181 in Floresville, provides free wireless Internet service to downtown visitors. The company and the city have been attempting to reach an agreement in which TopGun would lease space on a water tower located in the 2700 block of B Street. Equipment located on that tower would be utilized to provide high-speed commercial Internet service to businesses locating in the El Rancho Grande Industrial Park on F.M. 537, company owner Kurt Mullen said earlier.
The city wants to charge Mullen $450 per month for the space. But he is concerned that the contract does not guarantee TopGun exclusive use of the tower, which Mullen believes could jeopardize reception for his customers. He cited numerous situations outside the city in which this is occurring.
“They’re walking on each other with radio frequencies,” he said. “So it affects every customer that’s on their network, as well as their own business operations.”
The rate, Mullen said, is a commercial rate, despite the water tower being publicly owned. In other commercial contracts, Mullen said frequencies are protected, forcing other companies who locate on the tower to use other frequencies. He even suggested an alternate idea of requiring that all companies which install equipment on the tower provide a list of frequencies they intend to use, so that the city could make sure there is no risk of interference.
“I simply don’t know how to do it,” said City Attorney Louis Rosenberg. “We’re more than willing to meet you halfway and accommodate you.”
Rosenberg pledged to continue working with Mullen to develop a contract that is agreeable to both parties. Councilman Johnnie R. Gomez moved to table the council’s discussion. Councilman Sherry Martinez Castillo seconded the motion. The two, along with councilmen Mario Morones and John W. Guerrero, voted unanimously in favor of Gomez’s motion.
The councilmen, Rosenberg, Mayor Daniel Tejada, City Manager Andy Joslin, and Constituent Liaison Sherry Pollok discussed several other items related to future development and planning. For more, see related article page 2A.
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