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Federal dollars boost broadband projects
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Windstream Corporation is slated to receive $13 million in federal funding for broadband development projects.


Funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the projects are designed to bring high-speed Internet access to unserved homes and businesses in rural communities.


Announced by the Georgia office of the governor on Aug. 4, Windstream will receive $6.9 million, which will be matched by $2.3 million in outside capital. The second award of $5.1 million will be matched with $1.7 million from Windstream to provide broadband services as well.


Charlie Auvermann with the Development Authority of Dawson County said the authority is “thrilled.


“It can ultimately bring more broadband capacity to businesses that are home-owned,” he said. “Any capacity increases we can get, whether it’s through the North Georgia Network or through Windstream, it benefits Dawson County.”


Announcements made in the past six months regarding the North Georgia Network “run in parallel” with the recent news for Windstream, Auvermann said.


The North Georgia Network is an initiative by the Economic Development Authorities of Dawson, Habersham, Lumpkin, Union and White counties to stimulate economic growth by improving the broadband infrastructure in the North Georgia region.


In a statement released Aug. 4, Gov. Sonny Perdue said broadband access “is vital in the 21st century. We firmly believe with the right resources the communities that will benefit from this grant can compete with any other community in the world.”