Georgia lawmakers conduct survey to identify rural market broadband gaps

Rural broadband

Georgia’s lawmakers are working together to find a way to enhance broadband service in the state’s rural areas by asking residents to take an online survey about their service experience.

After tallying the survey results, Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) said a joint committee of state lawmakers will make a set of recommendations, including developing tax incentives to further broadband investment and getting rid of certain government regulation.

Gooch told the Gainesville Times in a statement that substandard internet service creates a barrier to economic development in rural parts of Northeast Georgia. Gooch added that businesses say broadband weighs heavily on whether they will locate their business in a particular town or city.

Mobile World Congress 2019

Attend the 2-Day Executive 5G Panel Series

FierceWireless is returning to Barcelona, Spain, during Mobile World Congress 2019 with a two-day Executive 5G Panel Series at the Fira Congress Hotel, conveniently located across the street from the MWC Convention Center. The panel events will take place on Feb. 25-26 and will cover 5G and The Fixed Wireless Access Opportunity, Taking 5G Indoors, and Making 5G Ubiquitous. Attendees will have the opportunity to network and hear from 5G leaders including Verizon, Vodafone, Orange, Sprint, NTT Docomo, Boingo Wireless, Qualcomm, and more over the course of two days.

Secure your spot at the event today! Now is your chance to join fellow industry professionals for networking and education. Registration information and the schedule can be found on the website here.

Gainesville itself is in the process of building out a free wireless broadband hotspot in the downtown square to improve e-commerce, recruit new businesses, provide educational opportunities in an outdoor setting and promote cultural events.

This new committee emerged as Dahlonega, Georgia, residents have complained to lawmakers about Windstream’s services. Residents said that the telco’s broadband speeds are “slow and unreliable.”

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Gainesville) has sent letters to the Little Rock, Ark.-based company demanding better solutions. Windstream said it would make necessary upgrades to its network earlier this year to improve speeds and service quality.

“It is my hope that this survey truly demonstrates what the broadband experience is like for users in Northeast Georgia. It is one thing to hear promises from the internet service providers, but the truth will lie in the responses of real consumers,” Collins said in a statement to the Times.

For more:
- Gainesville Times has this article

Related articles:
FCC sets up complementary $2B CAF II auction aimed at rural broadband expansion
USDA releases $85.8M in funding for rural broadband projects in 7 states

Suggested Articles

Ericsson has been added to the Linux Foundation Deep Learning Group's roster as a "premier member."

A survey by Colt Technology Services and GigaOm found that 92% of respondents believe there is a link between connectivity and customer experience.

Ericsson is bringing its big installed base of global service providers, and VMware its telco NFV platform.