Rural Georgians are at a digital disadvantage due to limited access to quality broadband services. This directly impacts access to telemedicine, education, employment opportunities and economic growth prospects for hundreds of thousands of our state’s citizens. By removing barriers in the deployment of broadband, rural Georgians can get a fair chance in the state’s evolving economy.
On April 26, 2019, Governor Brian Kemp signed into law state legislation empowering Georgia EMCs to consider offering rural broadband services in their communities. This legislation, championed by Senator Steve Gooch and Representative Jay Powell, removes key barriers for EMCs considering offering broadband services to their rural communities and members.
This is a new opportunity for EMCs that offers great potential for rural Georgia yet comes with its own set of challenges, but each EMC will have to evaluate what is financially and operationally feasible regarding the expansion of broadband in their community. This process will not happen overnight, and there are no quick fixes. Preparing for a challenge of this magnitude will require time and patience as each EMC explores the various options and determines which is best suited for its members. To learn more about this new opportunity for rural Georgians, and to stay connected to ongoing discussions about the deployment of broadband in Georgia, please visit our contact page and sign up for updates.