North Georgia Network lights the fiber in Dahlonega

Today, I was joined at the podium by Senator Steve Gooch, Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle, NTIA Program Manager Scott Woods, NGN CEO Bruce Abraham, and others to celebrate the lighting of the 100 Gigabit North Georgia Network fiber project in Lumpkin County. All but two sections of the 260-mile Terabit-capacity communications network through 12 north Georgia counties are complete, with the fiber loop meeting from the north and south at Dawson County later this month.

When we began talking with Bruce and Charlie and Nancy almost five years ago about the need for fiber optic broadband in the region, I was focusing mainly on the needs of North Georgia College &State University. But as four county development authorities and the University worked together, we quickly caught Nancy Cobb’s vision that we needed to bring an abundance of fiber to the North Georgia region where before we’d only known scarcity.

We saw that it didn’t matter if Lumpkin or one of our neighbors had the best & fastest train in the world, if the tracks started and stopped at the county lines. This team recognized that to bring the next generation of jobs and prosperity to our part of the country, we needed to focus on a high-speed fiber line through ALL our counties – we needed to band together to get broadband together.

Our past President, Dr. David Potter, shared that vision, and generously allowed me to serve on the NGN team to help make this dream come true.

We couldn’t have known five years ago that North Georgia College & State University would be consolidating with Gainesville State College, forming a 15,000-student regional university with even higher bandwidth needs than we could imagine. But thanks to the work of The NGN team and our EMC partners, north Georgia can now connect to existing fiber from Gainesville to share a 1-gigabit connection between the two campuses.

Five years ago, we didn’t have a branch of the university in Cumming, but this fall, we’ll be able to connect the new University Center at Georgia 400 to both Gainesville and Dahlonega at the highest speeds in the region.

Now our new President, Dr. Bonita Jacobs, has cast the vision for North Georgia to join the GigU consortium, and when we become members of this gigabit university organization, we will be the only institution in the state other than Georgia Tech to be recognized for delivering gigabit services to our communities.

We can barely begin to envision what the technology landscape will be like in another five years, but we know that with this investment in abundance, this investment in our infrastructure, this investment in our future, the north Georgia region will be ready for every educational opportunity, every industry that’s created or grown, and every job that’s added. Today we bring Lumpkin County, and our neighboring counties, to the right side of the digital divide.

About Bryson Payne

Author of Teach Your Kids to Code, Speaker, and Professor of Computer Science at the University of North Georgia.

View all posts by Bryson Payne

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply