HOUSTON, TX — August 12, 2020 — After partnering with CHR Solutions, SyncGlobal was awarded a $12.5 million USDA Rural Utilities Service (RUS) grant to deliver residential fiber internet to several unserved rural counties in Georgia. The project timeline currently proposes completion within the next three years.
Individuals and families located in rural areas not being served by broadband internet face ever-increasing challenges and struggle to stay connected. Working and learning from home is difficult, if not impossible, without the support of a strong broadband infrastructure. Recognizing this need, SyncGlobal teamed up with the Carroll Electric Membership Cooperative to start planning an expansive effort to build out a reliable fiber-to-the-home infrastructure across several unserved rural counties in Georgia.
The costs associated with providing a comprehensive broadband solution for a vast unserved area are enormous, and SyncGlobal quickly realized they would need to access the necessary capital funding available from the United States Department of Agriculture’s RUS Broadband ReConnect Program. SyncGlobal reached out to CHR Solutions for help in creating a viable plan.
“The competition for RUS funding is highly competitive,” said Kyle Williamson, CEO at SyncGlobal. “We knew that we would need the best team possible if we were going to make this happen. CHR Solutions proved to be invaluable in helping us obtain the RUS funding that would make this project a reality.”
Wade Ziegeldorf, Director of Engineering for CHR Solutions took the project in hand. He began by conducting feasibility studies that would utilize the existing Carroll EMC footprint. Building on that work, Wade and the CHR Solutions team created more complex and flexible feasibility models, including mapping details, and capital cost models, as well as putting together formal applications that RUS would review in deciding to award the grant.
“This was work that I felt strongly about,” said Wade, “These are rural areas that don’t have many options, especially when they’re cut off from modern technology. Broadband service opens doors. And that’s crucial—especially now.”
The $12.5 million USDA RUS ReConnect Program grant will be coupled with matching funds from SyncGlobal and Carroll EMC to create a $20 million capital investment for the first stage of this
CHR Solutions expects to begin construction in early 2021 and will continue through 2022. When completed, it will cover 125 square miles and more than 7,300 residents, including more than 200 farms and businesses, one school and four fire stations.
According to Wade, “The models we made were designed to be flexible and capable to sustain future growth. Ultimately, I hope that we’re able to see this is just a first step to greater connection across the entire region.”