Spalding County Connectivity Solutions
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!
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 pursing 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 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.
Additionally, Spalding County is hosting Smart Community Corps interns in Summer 2022!
Through their Rural/Remote Wireless Broadband Initiative, Spalding County Manager Steve Ledbetter and Communications Systems Manager, Mike Windham plan to make wireless broadband available to the community at low cost by utilizing existing county assets and locations. Smart Community Corps interns will help develop dashboards and analytics to assess the viability of delivery speed, delivery cost, throughput, consumer cost, uptime, maintenance cost/time, and customer feedback. Analysis of the project is designed to understand deployment in rural parts of our state. The Georgia Tech Researchers working with the 2021 cohort are Ada Gavrilovska and Ellen Zegura.