Governor Brian P. Kemp announced the publication of Georgia’s Broadband Availability Map, a new tool that will bring more transparency about the internet marketplace and clarify which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet.
Broadband is essential for educating youth, providing telehealth, accessing jobs, and connecting with each other in the 21st century, and COVID-19 has increased the importance of internet connectivity. Unfortunately, more than a million Georgians lack access to reliable high-speed internet service, defined by the Federal Communications Commission as 25 megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload (25/3 mpbs).
“I am proud of the commitment from broadband providers and their collaboration with the state’s broadband team,” said Governor Kemp. “This innovative map will enable the private sector to better see where Georgians lack access to high-speed internet, improve open-market competition, and help providers explore partnerships to address the connectivity needs of our state.”
The Georgia Broadband Availability Map gives a new view of the difference between access to high-speed internet in metropolitan and rural areas. Of the more than 507,000 homes and businesses lacking access to reliable broadband service at speeds of 25/3 mpbs, nearly 70% of these locations are in rural parts of Georgia.
The State’s new map is based on location-specific data, which is a more accurate reflection of which Georgia households have high-speed internet available via wireline, such as fiber optic cable. Previously, the only indication of Georgians’ ability to access a broadband connection was FCC’s map, which aggregates data at the Census Block.
“Not only should the new mapping tool help stimulate private investment, but it also enables us to support local communities and track progress toward serving the unserved,” said Department of Community Affairs Commissioner Christopher Nunn.