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Gov. Kemp vows to expand broadband internet access to Upson Co.

Published: Mar. 6, 2022 at 12:53 AM EST
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UPSON COUNTY, Ga. (WTVM) - Faster and more stable internet services are coming to Upson County.

Governor Brian Kemp has announced $4.5 million in American Rescue Plan funds.

Like many families in rural counties across the United states, Marlyn Williams says the pandemic exposed her family’s need for better internet services.

“We all need to have service and without fiber the service isn’t consistent, it is a little bit slower,” said Williams. “And sometimes, we did have times where it would disrupt and would not be where we needed it to be.”

But now with the multi-million dollar fiber grant and a company called WavCom, which has been rebranded as Highline, officials are working to bring this digital divide to an end.

“No more trying to get your kids homework uploaded and it just spins,” said one official. “No more getting cut off in important medical appointments. These are the stories we hear all the time as cover news underserved areas.”

Georgia State Representative Debbie Buckner says the limited access to internet causes many problems, including virtual doctors appointments.

“You can not do telemedicine and exchange x-rays and have the conversations from doctor-to-patient unless you have a certain speed of internet,” said Buckner.

Fiber is an internet technology that delivers a wide range of high speed internet.

To celebrate the county’s new partnership, Highline hosted an open house event with Georgia Governor Brian Kemp serving as guest speaker Saturday.

He’s the person responsible for choosing Upson County for the fiber grant.

“This will continue to be a high priority for me because I know what this means - this means greater economic opportunity and prosperity,” the governor said.

Kemp says the new grant money will allow fiber to serve 2,100 locations in Upson Hall..

Residents will start seeing changes by next year. Governor Kemp also says he is working now to get better broadband through more rural counties throughout Georgia.

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