USDA announces expansion of broadband services in Crawford County
Crawford County residents will soon have access to faster high-speed internet thanks to a new partnership.
ROBERTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Crawford County residents will soon have access to faster high-speed internet thanks to a new partnership.
For rural residents in Crawford County, connecting to internet for work or school has always been difficult. However, thanks to a new broadband expansion by the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development, getting connected will be easier than ever before.
Crawford County School District Superintendent, Dr. Chris Ridley, says the expansion will help students be more successful in the classroom.
“Students did not have access to the internet, so they would have to come to the local library or come to one of our campuses to access the internet,” Ridley said. “We have buses to actually go to the strategic areas within the county. We’re looking forward to it, because we know that our students take classes online. We have virtual students, so this will allow other students who want to become virtual students to being virtual because they will have internet access in their area.”
The USDA partnered with Public Service Telephone Company to make the expansion possible.
According to the Under Secretary for the USDA Rural Development, Xochtil Torres Small, the partnership will provide a $36.4 million loan investment to bring high-speed internet access to Crawford County and six other counties across Middle Georgia.
“This loan of $32 million is going to support PST as they invest in, get fiber high-speed internet to peoples’ homes so that kids can learn, so that people can start businesses and work from home,” Small said.
U.S. Congressman for the 2nd Congressional District for GA, Sanford Bishop, also helped provide the loan for the reconnect program. He says he wants residents in rural Georgia to have what they need to succeed.
“Rural America has challenges with resources,” Bishop said. “We wanted to make sure that connectivity will help them to be able to realize their full potential.”
According to USDA officials, the project is underway and should be complete within five years.