In Georgia, internet availability and speed can depend largely on where you live. For some, internet access is quick and seamless. For others, access can be spotty or nearly non-existent. The same for prices; some fall in the affordable category while others may be cost prohibitive.
The subject of high-speed broadband service came to the forefront earlier this year during the Georgia General Assembly. Members of the Senate and House overwhelmingly approved Senate Resolution 876, creating the 2016 Joint High-Speed Broadband Communications Access for all Georgians Study Committee.
In addition to lawmakers, individual homeowners and businesses can play an important role in discussions about internet access by completing a brief on-line survey and offering comments on your experiences—good and bad--related to broadband.
To gain additional insight, the Study Committee hosted a series of public forums across the state and heard comments from a broad spectrum of internet users.
According to Committee Co-chairs Sen. Steve Gooch and Rep. Don Parsons, high-speed broadband affects the economic development of rural communities today in the same way highway construction and electrification did in the 20th century. With that in mind, it’s imperative they gather authentic and accurate data to assist them in seeking ways to bring reliable broadband (or high speed) access to underserved areas in Georgia.
The survey was developed by the Georgia Broadband Center at UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government and designed to provide actionable information for policy-makers, providing a unique opportunity for consumers to participate in a meaningful way.
The Study Committee is asking homeowners and businesses for input by December 1 and will include findings in a report to be considered during the 2017 legislative session. However, to collect additional comments, the survey will remain open through June 2017.
To learn more about the broadband initiative and to complete the survey, go to https://broadband.georgia.gov.