Connectivity Solutions for Spalding County
Spalding County seeks to improve access to connectivity in their community as part of the 2021 Georgia Smart Communities Challenge!
“We have a lot of farmlands, citizens on 15 to 20 acres, and it’s difficult to get connectivity that last mile. Opportunities for us to find out how to [implement last mile connectivity] are so exciting to me!” – Clay Davis, Spalding County Chairman
While students were unable to come to school buildings in 2020, Spalding County was meeting the challenge of delivering internet access to households without adequate connectivity by sending out school busses with hot spots. This allowed students in rural areas of the county to continue pursuing their education during a time where they couldn’t convene in person. These and other similar challenges have led Spalding County administrators to pursue evaluating options to increase the connectivity in their community.
Believing that access to the internet is a driver of economic development, officials are looking to identify methods of increasing broadband access in the area that are cost-efficient and easy to understand for community members. Many internet service providers are unable or unwilling to provide access to households or businesses that are separated from other connections by acres or miles. This means that community members have to find other methods to pursue it. This is where Georgia Tech researchers Ada Gavrilovska and Ellen Zegura look to step in and provide the county with perspective on technology hardware and software options that will meet their needs, as well as evaluate the current status of connectivity and how to improve it. Researchers will pursue these answers in the interest of improving workforce education development in the region.