Evans County, one of the most recent Broadband Ready communities, and McIntosh County were awarded $5M in US Department of Agriculture (USDA) ReConnect funds on Feb. 21. Evans County was also recognized as a Broadband Ready Community on Feb. 6 by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
The City of Claxton reached a milestone as the first city to have a Broadband Ready designation within a county with the same recognition. Evans County (in which Claxton is located) was recognized for its Broadband Ready designation on Feb. 5, and Claxton was honored on Feb. 21 by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Sonny Perdue announced a $4.4M USDA ReConnect grant award for the Ellijay Telephone Company in Gilmer County on Feb. 7. The funds will benefit the Gilmer County Rural Broadband Enhancement Project, an initiative intended to provide 90 miles of new optical fiber transport facilities.
For years, residents in Evans County have reached out to local government officials about bringing in faster data speeds to its unincorporated areas. On Feb. 5, the county was recognized at the State Capitol for its recent Broadband Ready Community Designation.
Woodbury is the third community to receive Broadband Ready Community Certification from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). This 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.
Broadband is essential to education, healthcare, economic development and more, and a workshop held on Dec. 5 in Monroe County provided updates and information about its progress in Georgia. DCA and USDA hosted this event, which focused on the planning process and resources available to help expand broadband infrastructure in communities across the state.
Banks County joins Oglethorpe County as a certified Broadband Ready Community. This northeast Georgia county is the second to receive this designation which signifies that a local unit of government in a community has taken steps to reduce obstacles to broadband infrastructure investment.
DCA’s board members and staff met on Nov. 13-14 in Moultrie for its Fall board meeting. The DCA Board consists of 19 individuals, including but not limited to attorneys, government officials, CEOs and community leaders. The DCA board provides policy guidance to the agency, and the quarterly meetings allow the board to hear about the impact of DCA’s programs. The meetings also provide an opportunity for board members to connect with local officials and tour communities that have benefited from DCA’s programs and services.
Although rural Georgia continues to face challenges in having access to high-speed Internet, Oglethorpe County is breaking barriers as the first in the state to be named a Broadband Ready Community by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). County leadership was honored in a ceremony on Sept. 26.