Altamaha Fiber, Brewton-Parker Celebrate Broadband Access
Area officials gathered August 8 on the campus of Brewton Parker College (BPC) to celebrate a milestone that was achieved in providing broadband access for the College, Montgomery County, and the cities of Mount Vernon and Ailey. At the request of BPC, Altamaha EMC, also known as Altamaha Fiber, installed a 10-gigabyte broadband connection to the college’s campus. According to representatives with Altamaha Fiber, the broadband connection will provide more than enough capacity for the students, faculty, administration, and staff of the college where the fall semester is underway.
This past February, Governor Kemp and state leaders awarded Altamaha EMC $5,973,474 in grant funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide Montgomery and Toombs counties with faster and more reliable broadband. Montgomery and Toombs Counties and the cities of Mount Vernon, Uvalda, Alston and Ailey provided over $3,800,000 from their local ARPA funds as matching funds.
The broadband service being provided to BPC’s campus is one of the many underserved areas in Montgomery County within the city limits of Mount Vernon and Ailey that will benefit from these grant funds.The college is located along U.S. Highway 280 with the campus being located inside the city limits of both Mount Vernon and Ailey.
“I would like to express my appreciation to Romanous Dotson, General Manager, and Gavin Jordan, Supervisor for Installations (at Altamaha EMC) for going above and beyond to provide broadband for the fall semester students at BPC,” said Dr. Steve Echols, President of the College. Dr. Echols also expressed gratitude to Brandon Braddy, Montgomery County Manager, for initiating the upgrade and coordinating all aspects that made completion possible.
Echols noted that the BPC campus student population has experienced 50% growth in the last seven years and the increased bandwidth was a tremendous improvement to provide on campus service that is 10 times the previous capacity. Echols emphasized that the upgrade will allow the college to continue to grow its residency programs, but also will allow synchronous and asynchronous broadcasts of all of its classes to an online platform that he believes is a great opportunity for the college.
“The board of directors, manager and staff of Altamaha EMC appreciate the opportunity to serve Brewton-Parker College and the students,” said Dotson. “We believe that providing fiber/broadband services to our communities is a continuation of the cooperative process. Our community is fortunate to have such forward thinking and innovative leaders. We would like to thank everyone for allowing the cooperative to participate in the process that brings the world to our communities.”
Montgomery County Commission Chairman Leland Adams, other members of the Commission, Mayor Joey Fountain, and State Representative Leesa Hagan were on campus to celebrate the event, as well. “This is a historic moment for Montgomery County and Brewton-Parker College,” said Adams.
“Altamaha EMC, along with our state and local leaders worked together as a team to make this broadband access possible. The Board of Commissioners and I would like to thank Senator Blake Tillery (R19) and Representative Leesa Hagan (R-156) for their leadership in advocating for our community and making this broadband access a reality. Also, the commissioners and I would like to thank Altamaha EMC for accepting the responsibility for providing broadband service in our community.” “This investment in broadband infrastructure is critical to a local community our size,” said Mayor Joey Fountain. “I am thankful that Governor Kemp and our state leaders recognize how important reliable broadband service is for Mount Vernon. Also, I appreciate Brewton Parker College’s investment in technology upgrades to prepare for this moment.”
“One of our top priorities in the General Assembly is supporting higher education in Georgia,” said State Representative Hagan. “An important way we’re doing that, especially in rural areas like ours, is to make sure the best possible broadband service is available. Brewton-Parker College is an important part of the community. With the significant growth it’s seen over the past several years, it was vital to provide the higher capacity that they needed.” Tammye Vaughn, Manager of Marketing & Communications at Altamaha Fiber encourages the public to visit Altamaha Fiber’s website at https:// join. altamahafiber. com/ to check for updates as to when service will be provided in their areas.