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Posted: Wednesday, May 2nd 2012 at 12:39pm

High speed broadband moves into north Ga. mountains

By Marc Eggers Staff
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DAHLONEGA - Lumpkin County now has a core point-of presence in the 1100-mile long, state-of-the-art fiber-optic network known as the North Georgia Network.

Almost 175 years ago the slogan, “There’s gold in them thar hills.” brought thousands of prospectors to the area. Today the new slogan might be, “There’s silicon in them hills.”, as area leaders hope to create just as much interest, attracting high-tech industries, and jobs, to northeast Georgia.

The $42 million North Georgia Network began in 2009 as a joint effort by economic development leaders in Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union and White Counties, as well as visionaries from North Georgia College & State University, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC and Habersham EMC.

Guest speaker Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle said, “When we think about what broadband really means…it’s an economic engine that also fuels our kids’ minds. This today is a celebration of what the new economy is going to look like.”

North Georgia Network President Bruce Abraham said, ”Over the past decades we’ve seen technology influence where businesses locate.”

“To offer a good quality of life companies want to be able to place their businesses in areas away from the high-traffic and high-cost of living that defines Atlanta. By creating the North Georgia Network we’ve put into place the infrastructure to attract top companies to north Georgia.”

State Senator and Executive Director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County, Steve Gooch, attended high school on the donated property housing the new Lumpkin core point-of-presence (C-POP). “This gives me another tool in my toolbox to go out and talk to prospects. We see companies coming back to Georgia…coming from Japan, back to the US. This is going to provide the extra kick we need in our toolbox.”

The Lumpkin C-POP is the second of six along the network. The first opened in Cleveland in February. The remaining four - located in Dawsonville, Cumming, Blairsville, and Atlanta - will be finished and online by November 30, 2012.

Bryson Payne, Chief Information Officer for North Georgia College & State University, proudly said, “And when we become members of this “Gig-U” organization (broadband speed of 1-gigabit) we will be the only other institution in the state besides Georgia Tech to…deliver gigabit services to our communities.”

“With this investment in our future…we bring Lumpkin County and our neighboring counties to the right side of the digital divide.”

Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News

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