Federal broadband grants headed to South Georgia

ATLANTA — Four South Georgia counties will receive nearly $15 million in preliminary grant awards for broadband internet expansion, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Monday.

The federal pandemic relief funds are coming through the second round of a grant program aimed at improving connectivity for homes and businesses in underserved areas. The much larger first round of grants sent $234 million last January to broadband projects in 28 Georgia counties.

“Since day one, my administration has prioritized brining opportunity to all parts of our state, including those areas often overlooked,” Kemp said. “These projects are just the latest steps we’ve taken to connect Georgians in rural communities with professional and educational opportunities, building on the significant progress we have made in recent years to close the digital divide.”

Combined with local matches, the new round of funding will invest nearly $30 million in broadband projects that will serve more than 3,500 locations in areas most in need of high-speed internet access.

The largest of the four awards — $6.32 million — will go to Windstream in Calhoun County, followed closely by $6.28 million allocated to the city of Colquitt in Miller County. Windstream’s operation in Echols County will receive nearly $1.2 million, and $985,147 will go to another Windstream in Webster County.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Capitol Beat News Service