Georgia to use $240 million in COVID-19 relief funds to build broadband internet for rural locations

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Gov. Brian Kemp said Friday the state would spend another $240 million Federal COVID-19 Relief Fund Creation of broadband internet in rural locations that do not currently have a connection.

Funding from the Federal Communications Commission, combined with $408 million from the first round of COVID-19 assistance, will be given to utilities and others to try to bring high-speed connections to parts of Georgia that lacked them. .

Applications for the new round of grants opened on Monday.

comes as an announcement Republican Kempo For re-election alongside Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams in one of the nation’s most high-profile gubernatorial races. Abrams and other Democrats have slammed Kemp for taking credit for handing over federal funds even as they voice their opposition to federal spending. Abrams on Tuesday pledged to use money from a recent federal infrastructure bill to topple Kemp in broadband expansion, an issue that has broad bipartisan support.

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In February, when the state awarded $408 million, officials estimated the money would add 132,000 of the remaining 482,000 homes and businesses that didn’t have fast connections.

Georgia officials plan to use $240 million in federal cash to build broadband in rural areas.

49 electricity cooperatives, local governments, cable companies and others that received the first round of funding have committed to spending $330 million of their own money to match federal cash.

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FCC first. $326 million to serve approximately 180,000 locations in parts of georgia Using your Rural Digital Opportunity Fund.

Applicants for new money provide download and upload speeds of 100 megabytes per second. The guidelines ask applicants to consider affordability as part of their plan and say they are “strongly encouraged” to provide a lower-cost option. Providers must participate in the FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides discounts of up to $30 per month to eligible households.

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Kemp Decided to Spend Georgia’s $4.8 Billion in Federal Relief on Broadband Expansion, Water and Sewer Improvement and Offsetting negative economic Epidemic effect.

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