West Georgia De­vel­op­ment Author­ity to con­duct broad­band study

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL -

In an ef­fort to un­der­stand the broad­band con­nec­tiv­ity of the Greater West Georgia re­gion and to help foster in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments, work­force ed­u­ca­tion and eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment, the Greater West Georgia Joint De­vel­op­ment Author­ity (GWGJDA) has com­mis­sioned a broad­band fea­si­bil­ity study.

Slated to com­mence in the fall of 2016, the study will survey pub­lic and pri­vate broad­band users in the Greater West Georgia re­gion to de­ter­mine their broad­band us­age as well as their broad­band goals and needs.

The Greater West Georgia re­gion con­sists of those coun­ties who hold mem­ber­ship in the GWGJDA in­clud­ing Car­roll, Coweta, Har­al­son, Heard, Pauld­ing, Polk and Troup coun­ties.

The em­pha­sis of the study is fact-find­ing -- sur­vey­ing and un­der­stand­ing fiber con­nec­tiv­ity to business parks, ex­ist­ing busi­nesses and con­sumers and new growth op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion.

“This is the first of many steps to help bring ad­vanced fiber con­nec­tiv­ity and in­fra­struc­ture in­vest­ments to our area,” stated GWGJDA chair­man, Tim War­ren. “We need to fully un­der­stand our cur­rent broad­band cli­mate be­fore we can plan im­prove­ments and up­grades.”

The Greater West Georgia broad­band study is funded through a grant pro­vided by Car­roll Elec­tric Mem­ber­ship Co-op­er­a­tive (EMC), a not-for­profit, con­sumer-owned co­op­er­a­tive that dis­trib­utes elec­tric­ity to 50,000 res­i­den­tial, com­mer­cial and in­dus­trial cus­tomers.

“We are ex­cited to part­ner with the Greater West Georgia Joint De­vel­op­ment Author­ity to get this broad­band study un-der- way,” said Car­roll EMC Pres­i­dent and CEO, Tim Martin. “We look for­ward to re­view­ing the find­ings of the study and be­ing a part­ner in the de­vel­op­ment of a re­gional con­nec­tiv­ity plan.”

Per­form­ing the broad­band study is ECC Tech­nolo­gies, Inc (ECC), a tech­nol­ogy and com­mu­ni­ca­tions con­sult­ing firm re-spon­si­ble for the de­vel­op­ment of over $1 bil­lion in tech­nolo-gy-based projects glob­ally. ECC has ex­ten­sive ex­pe­ri­ence fa- cil­i­tat­ing broad­band stud­ies and projects.

Missy Ken­drick, new De­vel­op­ment Author­ity of Polk County pres­i­dent, stressed that the study isn’t cen­tered around the Greater West Georgia De­vel­op­ment Author­ity pro­vid­ing any ser­vices, but mainly geared to­ward find­ing providers who are will to “carry out that last mile of con­nec­tiv­ity.”

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