Georgia Releases New Broadband Maps

July 8, 2020

Georgia Department of Community Affairs

The Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) has made three new Georgia Broadband Maps available to provide more transparency about the internet marketplace and clarify which Georgia households do not have access to high-speed internet:
  • FCC vs GBDI Broadband Comparison: The map to the left of the swipe bar represents the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative (GBDI) data, and the map to the right represents the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) Form 477 (June 2019) data.
  • Unserved Georgia by County: This map focuses on unserved broadband statistics for Georgia counties. Users can click in the map or search by county to see county statistics.
  • Unserved Georgia: Users can search by address or place to see census block statistics.
Broadband is essential for educating youth, providing telehealth, accessing jobs, and connecting with each other in the 21st century, and COVID-19 has increased the importance of internet connectivity. More than a million Georgians lack access to reliable high-speed internet service, defined by the Federal Communications Commission as twenty-five megabits per second download and three megabits per second upload (25/3 mpbs). Of the more than 507,000 homes and businesses lacking access to reliable broadband service at speeds of 25/3 mpbs, nearly 70% are in rural parts of Georgia.

The new maps illustrate the difference between access to high-speed internet in metropolitan and rural areas. They are based on location-specific data and can provide a more accurate reflection of which Georgia households have high-speed internet available via wireline, such as fiber optic cable. Previously, the only indication of Georgians’ ability to access a broadband connection was FCC’s map, which aggregates data at the census block. The enhanced location-level methodology to map broadband access with a high degree of precision is a "first in the nation" approach and a collaborative effort between private providers and the Georgia Broadband Office within the Department of Community Affairs (DCA). While the new maps signify where high-speed internet service is available, they do not indicate where Georgians are subscribing to internet services. That information is held by the private providers who have service offerings in various areas.

Over the past few months, and encouraged by the mapping initiative, providers have announced several infrastructure investments. These investments total nearly $38.2 million and are projected to serve more than 23,000 locations in every corner of the state. Most have occurred through public-private partnership efforts involving federal funds, local commitment, and support from the state’s broadband program.

About the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative
Following the “Achieving Connectivity Everywhere” Act, GBDI was launched in 2018 as an inter-agency team comprised of the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Georgia Technology Authority (GTA), Department of Economic Development (DEcD), State Properties Commission (SPC), and Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT). The initiative calls for the promotion and deployment of broadband services throughout the state to unserved areas with a minimum of 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds, to increase economic, education, and social opportunities for Georgia residents and businesses.

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