Banks County is Georgia’s second county to be recognized by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) for its Broadband Ready Certification. On March 5, DCA Broadband Executive Director Deana Perry presented city officials with a certificate of recognition. Those in attendance included Jimmy Hooper, Banks County Commission chairman; Bill Griffin, vice-chair, Claxton-Evans County Economic Development Authority; Jenni Gailey, Banks County clerk; Scott Ledford, chairman, Development Authority of Banks County; and Erin Decker, clerk, Development Authority of Banks County.
Chairman Hooper said the recognition sheds light on broadband and highlights its impact in the community, particularly improvement in the quality of life for residents and the potential for economic development growth. In addition to asking about taxes, land costs and abatements, he said potential businesses also inquire about internet.
Griffin added, “It’s going to be huge for businesses coming in and looking for a faster-speed internet. [Broadband] is going to be a great help if we can see this through.”
Both encourage other communities to pursue this certification. Griffin said, “Try to be prepared for broadband and the willingness to work with providers and help them streamline the process of being able to supply broadband.”
Hooper also emphasized the influence of legislators and elected officials in moving the needle in communities who need broadband: “I recommend getting in touch with Sen. [Steve] Gooch and ask for his input. Of course, as a commission, you need to be willing to walk the extra mile and help … with any obstacles that might come before getting broadband service into your county. This is for the public good.”