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On August 5, Governor Kemp took the next step in providing thousands of rural Georgians with rural broadband when he signed the Georgia Broadband Opportunity Act (HB 244). 

In December of 2020, the GA Public Service Commission will decide the costs and conditions required of broadband providers to attach to utility poles controlled by electric membership corporations. The PSC Commissioners’ decision will determine a critical cost to provide high-speed broadband in Georgia, including more expansion to rural communities in Georgia. This decision ultimately determines the speed and reality of rural broadband availability for thousands of rural Georgians and several communities anxiously awaiting the opportunities having broadband provides.

HB 244, pending action by the Georgia Public Service Commission, should benefit rural Georgians by doing the following:

  • Updating Georgia’s state law and policies to provide the Public Service Commission jurisdiction to ensure our state has the LOWEST costs and FAIREST practices STATEWIDE for critical broadband infrastructure.

  • Examining costs in a public and fair process for communications attachments to critical infrastructure, like utility poles, and requiring cost-based and fair practices to encourage MORE private investment and broadband expansion.

  • Fueling private investment specifically in rural areas of our state, providing better opportunities for workforce development, education and healthcare.

  • Providing all broadband providers (existing and new market entrants) a fair, predictable and streamlined process to connect to or collocate on existing utility poles and infrastructures when deploying broadband.

  • Protecting existing contracts, requiring new PSC-standardized rates, terms and conditions in all renewals and new agreements and encouraging the lowest, fairest and streamlined policies be applied as quickly as possible to further promote broadband and economic growth in our state through cooperation and partnerships.

  • Attracting public commitments from broadband providers to expand high speed internet to 35,000 new homes and businesses across rural Georgia within the first three years after the state creates a statewide, cost-based and streamlined climate for all utility pole attachments.

  • Creating $70 Million in annual economic benefits to rural Georgia as a result of incentivizing broadband providers to tackle more challenging broadband expansion projects.

Recent News

Rural broadband: Metro Atlanta touched by shortages state’s PSC is to address

Rural broadband: Metro Atlanta touched by shortages state’s PSC is to address

December 1, 2020

Comcast plans to expand broadband services in Grantville in 2021

Comcast plans to expand broadband services in Grantville in 2021

November 30, 2020

Telecom execs: Rural broadband doesn’t work without lower EMC fees

Telecom execs: Rural broadband doesn’t work without lower EMC fees

November 23, 2020

Georgia EMCs, telecoms far apart on rural broadband

Georgia EMCs, telecoms far apart on rural broadband

November 18, 2020

Support Rural Broadband Expansion

 Now more than ever, broadband is critical for the well-being of Georgians.

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