Public Private Partnership

Windstream, Colquitt Electric Membership Cooperative (EMC) and Lowndes County, Ga., are teaming up on a $39 million public-private partnership to bring broadband to about 16,000 locations in the county.

Windstream is contributing about $17.6 million. The other $21.7 million is funded through the Georgia State Fiscal Recovery Fund and the county. Windstream will handle cost overruns.

The project, which will provide multi-gigabit service to users, will include 806 miles of fiber. It is underway and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026.

Lowndes County and the state are administering the project. The Georgia State Fiscal Recovery Fund is supported by the American Rescue Plan Act’s State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund (SLFRF) that is administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Windstream and Colquitt EMC began partnering in 2019 when the Georgia State Legislature passed a law allowing EMCs to provide broadband to underserved and unserved areas. At that time, Colquitt EMC contacted broadband providers to work through the best ways in which they could cooperate.

“After months of dedicated collaboration, I’m proud to stand here today and witness the development of these 16,000 locations in Kinetic’s largest Georgia fiber build project to date,” Georgia Kinetic Operations President Michael Foor said at today’s groundbreaking ceremony

“As a Georgian, this moment marks not just the culmination of our collective efforts, but also the beginning of a transformative journey for us and businesses across the communities of Lowndes County.”

Windstream, which serves residential and small business customers in 18 states, has entered numerous public-private partnerships in multiple states.

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