By Carol A. Gasser Moore
SOUTH GEORIA – Five South Georgia counties are among the 29 which will receive preliminary grant awards for broadband internet expansion. Governor Brian P. Kemp has announced over $234 million through the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program. These awards will improve connectivity for communities, households, businesses, and anchor institutions in 28 Georgia counties. When combined with significant capital matches from the awardees, almost $455 million will be invested to serve over 76,000 locations in communities with some the greatest need for high-speed internet access.
“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,” said Governor Brian P. Kemp. “High-speed internet access is critical for both academic and economic opportunities, as well as 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.”
On August 12, 2022, Governor Kemp announced the creation of the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program, 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.
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.
The 29 awardees announced today include 12 different internet service providers comprised of EMCs, large telecommunications companies, and local Georgia-based companies. The state will open a second round of the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program for the five eligible counties that did not receive an award this Spring (Calhoun, Echols, Johnson, Miller, and Webster Counties).
The full list of preliminary awards announced today is below: