Gadsden Connect postponement causing controversy, disappointment

Published: Feb. 24, 2021 at 6:22 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - Last Wednesday, we saw car after car line up to receive WiFi devices from Figgers Communications with the promise of 3 months of free internet connection.

Since this distribution, the program has been postponed indefinitely.

The Get Connected Gadsden program was set to connect 25,000 people to WiFi services.

For residents without internet, they are disappointment the program came to an end.

Amy McBride, a Havana resident, said, “I would like to hear why the service was disconnected or postponed, I liked to hear that and their reasoning for it.”

McBride was one of the people who got a device last week.

She says without it it’s hard to find a public place to connect in Gadsden County.

“It’s a necessity because more programs are going to electronic means of communicating, so it’s almost like you cut the lifeline if you don’t have it,” she said.

Germain Bebe, the chief operating officer for Figgers Communications, told WCTV that the company got the county’s cease and desist letter three days before payment was due from the county.

“For us this was never about the money this was about providing a service and we’re very passionate about that,” Bebe said.

Figgers says they are doing everything they can to not disrupt services for those who already picked up a device.

“We’re trying to keep it on as long as possible so for those who do have it we’re in there working, our team is behind the scenes and we’re trying to keep them going and continue working with them,” added Bebe.

In a statement on Monday, a Gadsden County spokesperson says: “The Gadsden County Board of County Commissioners is dedicated to ensuring that Gadsden County residents who do not have internet access will be able to do so. We apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused and reiterate our commitment to getting all of Gadsden County residents in need of internet services Connected.”

WCTV reached out to Gadsden County again Wednesday, but have not heard back.

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