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Opinion: Democrats provided funds for Georgia broadband expansion
01142018 BROADBAND
A plan to bring high-speed internet access to 13,000 new customers in Hall County is now up in the air after the county and AT&T lost out on federal funding for the project. - photo by Associated Press

In a letter to the editor on Sept. 27, Ken Wright of Murrayville claimed that Brian Kemp was behind the initiative to expand rural broadband in our state. In fact, the money allotted to Kemp’s initiative was provided by the federal government. The funds come from COVID 19 relief packages and from the Federal Communications Commission. Even Fox News explained the source of the funding on their website.

I’m pleased that those without access to reliable broadband will be served by this initiative, but I don’t appreciate that Mr. Wright doesn’t credit Congress for approving the funds that Kemp is drawing from. Kemp is happy to get the credit, but the credit is actually due elsewhere. (Editor’s note: Wright’s letter cites the Capital Projects Fund as the source, but doesn’t describe it as a U.S. Treasury fund.)

In addition, Mr. Wright seems to think that an announcement in late August means everyone in Georgia will have broadband access by the end of September. The program only opened up the grant application process in September, so it will take a little more time to get the infrastructure in place.

It seems that too many of our neighbors aren’t paying attention when it comes to government programs. I would hope The Times can help in that regard by informing its readers of the details. Over the past session, the Democrats in Congress have approved major investment in our infrastructure, in manufacturing jobs, in public safety and national security, and in climate mitigation projects that benefit Georgia directly. Both Sen. Warnock and Sen. Ossoff have sponsored bills that have resulted in job expansion in Georgia while contributing to green energy initiatives to help our planet avoid climate catastrophe. Democrats in Congress have passed this legislation with little or no support from their Republican colleagues. I just hope that those who benefit from these initiatives know whom to thank.

Denise Lee