Public private partnership brings fiber internet to 16,000 locations in Lowndes County Georgia

Public private partnership brings fiber internet to 16,000 locations in Lowndes County Georgia

Kinetic investing $17.6 million in private funding will cover any cost overruns for Lowndes County broadband build expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

About 16,000 locations in Lowndes County, Georgia, will be able to get high-speed fiber internet for the first time, due to a $39 million public private partnership.

Construction has already started and is expected to provide multi-gig internet speeds to eligible homes and businesses across the counties.

The public private partnership between Lowndes County, Colquitt EMC and Kinetic is funded in part with $21.7 million from the Georgia State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the county.

Kinetic, a Windstream company offering fiber-based broadband to residential and small business customers in 18 states, will invest $17.6 million of private capital and will cover any cost overruns.

Michael Foor, Georgia Kinetic Operations President, said: “As a Georgian, this moment marks not just the culmination of our collective efforts, but also the beginning of a transformative journey for us and businesses across the communities of Lowndes County.”

Kinetic and Colquitt EMC have partnered since 2019 when the Georgia State Legislature passed legislation to allow the state’s EMCs to participate in bringing broadband service to underserved and unserved areas. Soon after this bill’s passage, Colquitt EMC contacted broadband providers to determine the best method for Colquitt’s participation.

The project is being administered through the State of Georgia and Lowndes County, supported in whole or part by the American Rescue Plan Act State Local Fiscal Recovery Fund.

“This partnership was a natural fit. The majority of citizens in the EMC’s territory, who were unserved or underserved, were both Colquitt EMC members and Kinetic customers,” said Danny Nichols, Colquitt EMC President. “It is rare that two utilities share the same goal and we’re proud Colquitt EMC could provide value and assistance to Kinetic’s broadband expansion.”

Georgia Broadband Director Jessica Simmons said: “As we mark this groundbreaking moment for Kinetic’s 16,000 location development, it’s important to recognize that with their services, opportunity knows no bounds, regardless of zip code.

“This project is more than just laying cables; it’s about laying the foundation for future generations in Georgia to thrive in an increasingly digital world.”

Paige Dukes, Lowndes County Manager, said: “As we navigate through an evolving technological era, the state-of-the-art broadband infrastructure implemented by Kinetic emerges as a cornerstone for these communities bolstering economic growth, advancing educational opportunities and enhancing healthcare accessibility.

Bill Slaughter, Lowndes County Chairman, said the groundbreaking signified the start of new possibilities for Lowndes County.

“Technology is ever evolving, and this project will bring broadband that can handle present and future demands to our community. I’m glad that we were able to collaborate with Kinetic to expand this critical service to more than 16,000 unserved homes and businesses,” he said.

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