Windstream has won funding for 18 projects to deploy high-speed broadband in 18 Georgia counties. The Georgia ARPA broadband projects will be funded, in part, through money allotted to counties in the state in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).
Windstream will contribute $133 million toward the projects. An additional $171 million will come from the ARPA funding received by the counties.
The ARPA allotted a total of $195 billion to individual states and a total of $155 billion to counties, cities and other units of government that could be used for a variety of purposes, including broadband deployments.
Windstream plans to deploy fiber broadband in the project areas. Although not referenced in the release, rules for ARPA-funded broadband call for funding recipients to deploy 100 Mbps symmetrical speeds except in certain circumstances.
The projects will make broadband available to more than 83,000 homes and businesses, according to a press release about the Georgia ARPA broadband projects. Windstream is required to complete the projects by 2026.
“Building reliable, ultrafast internet service in rural areas requires collaboration and public-private partnerships,” said Windstream President and CEO Tony Thomas in today’s press release. “These partnerships allow us to accelerate our deployment of fiber broadband throughout rural Georgia.”
This isn’t the first time Windstream has used partnerships to enable broadband deployments in rural areas. Previous partnerships involved Colquitt Electric Membership Cooperative and Sumter Electric Membership Cooperative.
The counties involved in the Windstream Georgia ARPA broadband projects are:
- Baldwin – 751 locations
- Berrien – 4,737 locations
- Brooks – 3,749 locations
- Chattooga – 3,392 locations
- Colquitt – 7,448 locations
- Cook – 3,723 locations
- Early – 2,683 locations
- Habersham – 3,199 locations
- Lee – 4,234 locations
- Lowndes – 18,218 locations
- Lumpkin – 6,403 locations
- Stewart – 2,729 locations
- Terrell – 2,270 locations
- Thomas – 2,098 locations
- Twiggs – 2,034 locations
- Union – 8,256 locations
- Walker – 3,339 locations
- Walton – 4,084 locations
Updated to clarify that Windstream won funding for 18 projects in 18 counties.