Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023–12:43 p.m.
David Crowder, WRGA News
Floyd, Gordon, and Bartow are three of 29 Georgia Counties that will benefit from a portion of $234 million in preliminary grant awards for broadband internet expansion through the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program.
These awards will improve connectivity for communities, households, businesses, and anchor institutions.
Floyd County will receive $13,548,056.48 for 2,987 locations. Gordon County will get $4,400,000.00 for 4,385 locations and Bartow County is set to accept $6,710,886.31 for 2,934 locations.
Broadband providers, like Comcast in our area, were able to apply for funding.
Governor Brian Kemp announced the creation of the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program in August, utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The Governor’s Office of Planning & Budget and the Georgia Technology Authority worked together to identify the most unserved and underserved counties in the state and establish a competitive grant program.
“Georgia is again leading the nation in identifying where the digital divide is the deepest and acting on that knowledge to improve service for hardworking people all the way from Seminole County to Gordon County and beyond,” Kemp said. “High-speed internet access is critical for both academic and economic opportunities, as well as the overall quality of life. These projects announced today will go a long way to helping Georgians in some of the most unserved and underserved parts of the state become better connected.”
The Federal Communications Commission says that nearly 15% of Georgia homes lack access to reliable high-speed broadband.
One area identified in Floyd County is Chubbtown between Highway 411 and Highway 27 South near Cave Spring.
Federal funding for broadband expansion was announced early last month by U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock with the State of Georgia determining the specific communities that will benefit.
“This is vital for small businesses, farmers, for schools and families, for kids doing school work in the afternoon at home, and for our state’s prosperity to move toward universal access to high-speed internet,” Ossoff said back in December. “This is a huge day for the state of Georgia and is the result of much hard work.”
These awards also follow the historic $408 million in preliminary grant funds that the state announced in February of last year. Together, the programs equal nearly $650 million in grant funds that will work hand-in-hand with hundreds of millions of additional matching funds. These investments and the projects associated with these two grant programs aim to serve roughly 200,000 of the remaining 455,000 unserved locations in the state.