Warren County has been announced as Broadband Ready by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The designation recognizes a city/and or county whose local government has completed the application and demonstrated compliance with the adoption of a local comprehensive plan inclusive of the deployment of broadband services and a Broadband Model Ordinance.
Growing in population and commercial development, Lee County is still considered a primarily rural area with several locations either underserved or with no access to internet service at all. Areas in need of broadband service range from 50-year-old farmhouses in North Lee County to new residential developments in the South. With the county citizens’ complaints began to amplify due to the pandemic, Lee County propelled itself to apply for the designation.
Bartow County has recently been announced as Broadband Ready, receiving a certification from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). The designation recognizes a city and/or county whose local government has completed the application and demonstrated compliance with the adoption of a local comprehensive plan inclusive of the deployment of broadband services and a Broadband Model Ordinance.
With COVID-19 impacting several counties across the state, limited internet access challenges have been a highlighted issue for the residents and businesses of Marion County. The pandemic had caused the gaps in the community to become more apparent as school systems closed and people were having issues connecting to the internet.
Being close in proximity to Fort Gordon, Clarks Hill Lake, and Interstate 20, McDuffie County expects more growth of new residents, larger industries, and commercial activity. Like most rural counties within Georgia, however, McDuffie has large portions where there is little-to-no access to internet.
Elbert County, located in northeast Georgia, kicked off 2021 with a Broadband Ready Certification from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs. County Commission Chairman Lee Vaughn said there are few internet providers in the area, leaving many individuals, families, and businesses completely unserved. Like many communities around the state, COVID-19 exacerbated the issue known as the digital divide.
Broadband service in rural Georgia received a $4.6 million boost when the USDA announced a ReConnect investment in Evans and Tatnall counties in early January. The ReConnect program is a USDA initiative in which a total of $600 million will be allocated for broadband infrastructure expansion in rural America.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that 15 bidders have secured more than $326 million in Rural Digital Opportunity Funds (RDOF) to deploy high-speed broadband to thousands of rural Georgians over the next 10 years. As a result of the recently completed Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, high-speed broadband will be deployed to more than 179,000 currently unserved homes and businesses in the state. This represents nearly 99% of locations that were eligible to participate in the RDOF auction process.
Only 30% of residents in Colquitt County have internet access, according to Melissa Lawson, county clerk. Therefore, the Broadband Ready certification is a major step toward connectivity in an agriculture-based community. Cities and counties with this Broadband Ready designation have completed the online application and demonstrated compliance with the adoption of both a Comprehensive Plan, inclusive of the promotion of deployment broadband services, and the Broadband Model Ordinance.
The City of Dublin joins several communities across Georgia that are Broadband Ready. Cities and counties with this certification have completed the online application and demonstrated compliance with the adoption of both a Comprehensive Plan, inclusive of the promotion of deployment broadband services, and the Broadband Model Ordinance.