||Economic Development and Redevelopment | Municipal Powers |
This legislation known as the ‘Achieving Connectivity Everywhere’ (ACE) Act would enable Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) in consultation with Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) to implement a long-term policy approach to broadband deployment in interstate highways and state roads' rights-of-way through various approaches including public-private partnerships.
This legislation would enable the Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to recognize local governments as ‘Broadband Ready Communities’ through a voluntary certification program if the local government adopted ordinances or policies promoting jurisdiction-wide broadband deployment and streamlined processes to grant quicker access to the public rights-of-way.
DCA would also be charged with administering the 'Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative' to allow for state funding to service providers offering to provide broadband in unserved or underserved areas. The program would consist of a minimum of five rounds of grants, one per year for five years.
This legislation would also enable the Department of Economic Developmnent along with the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA) to create a designation for 'Georgia Broadband Ready Community Site' that have at least one gigabit of service available. The Georgia Technology Authority would be further responsible for serving as the statewide broadband authority, where local governments would be expected to coordinate with GTA on any reports or mapping efforts.