Broadband has become essential to business, education, healthcare, agriculture, and overall quality of life. Unfortunately, high-speed internet access remains out of reach for Georgians in many rural communities. Recognizing the importance of broadband availability to all Georgians, in 2018 the General Assembly passed SB402 also known as Achieving Connectivity Everywhere (ACE) creating the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative. The initiative calls for the promotion and deployment of broadband services throughout the state to unserved areas with a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds.
The purpose of the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative is to coordinate and establish broadband programs to increase economic, education, and social opportunities for Georgia citizens and businesses. The initiative provides for the expansion of broadband infrastructure and services through new state and local broadband planning policies.
DCA and the Georgia Technology Authority have formed a five-agency team to coordinate and collaborate with stakeholder representatives from providers, and local governments in thirteen projects that comprise the current implementation of ACE. The five agencies that comprise the ACE team for this report are the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), Department of Economic Development (DEcD), State Properties Commission (SPC), and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). After forming, the five-agency ACE team implemented a governance framework to provide overall communication and project management coordination. The governance structure engages the stakeholders and leverages their expertise while balancing a variety of interests. It offers stakeholders a voice for participation and feedback on the methods, processes, and regulations to improve broadband services in unserved Georgia.