Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River and has more counties than any other state in the nation with the exception of Texas. It has large metropolitan areas, wide-ranging mountains, and vast farmlands. It is the headquarters of many Fortune 500 companies and hosts a strong agricultural industry that is the state's largest economic engine.
Broadband technology is an enabler to economic growth for the future, and GTA has assisted public- and private-sector stakeholders to expand facilities, increase adoption, and promote information sharing and collaboration.
Since 2006, GTA has been involved in several programs to promote the availability of broadband technology across the state. The Wireless Communities Georgia Program supported the development of eight Wi-Fi networks to improve citizen access to municipal services. The program provided $6 million, and the eight municipalities that received those funds matched them with an additional $3 million in equipment and services.
The U.S. Department of Commerce made $7.2 billion available to states and territories to expand broadband in unserved and underserved areas. GTA assisted applicants in Georgia for those grants and made funding recommendations to the Department of Commerce. The state received over $180 million in grants and loans for several large broadband projects that are in varying phases of development.
In addition, GTA received a $5.2 million grant from the Department of Commerce for statewide broadband mapping. The goal is to partner with Georgia telecommunications carriers to collect data about broadband coverage and speeds, and to improve assess to services in our unserved and underserved areas. The program creates maps, analyses, and tabular data twice a year. These data are being used in the areas of education, public safety, citizen access, and healthcare.
For more information about GTA's involvement in broadband, please visit www.georgiabroadband.net.