- Kinetic’s 1st venture in the county will invest $7.3 million and cover any cost overruns
- Public–private partnership between Lee County and Kinetic will place about 360 miles of fiber-optic cable
LEESBURG, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– State and local officials joined with fiber-broadband provider Kinetic to break ground on a $21 million, state-of-the-art fiber network that will provide ultrafast internet to more than 4,000 rural customer locations in Lee County.
The project to serve Lee County is Kinetic’s first venture in the county.
When completed by the end of the year, it will make more than 4,000 homes, businesses, schools and medical facilities eligible for high-speed fiber internet for the first time.
“What Kinetic is doing is helping Lee County immeasurably,” Georgia Public Service Commission Chairman Jason Shaw said at Wednesday’s event. “For far too long, the hardworking families and businesses in Lee County have endured the absence of high-speed internet. It’s time they get the best in reliable broadband service, and that’s precisely what Kinetic is doing.”
Kinetic Georgia operations President Michael Foor said: “People in Lee County will soon experience a quantum-leap improvement in their internet services. As a fellow Georgian, I take pride in Kinetic’s role as a local company, employing community members to enhance the internet experience for others in our region. And we’re thrilled to give the people the premium internet connectivity they deserve for business, education, healthcare and personal needs.”
He also thanked electric cooperative Sumter Electric Membership Corp. for working jointly with Kinetic to secure the funding to expand Kinetic’s fiber optic broadband network to rural customers. Sumter EMC will also let Kinetic attach fiber to its utility poles.
“Sumter EMC has been an instrumental part in the delivery of fiber in its service area,” Foor said. “We are grateful for its willingness to support these efforts.”
Sumter EMC President and CEO Rene Smith expressed pride in the nonprofit electric cooperative’s role in helping Lee County get its $12.5 million broadband expansion grant.
“We are grateful for the forward thinking and diligence exhibited by county leaders and Kinetic during the grant process and look forward to the fiber expansion bringing economic and educational opportunities to rural Lee County,” he said.
The overall project is a result of a public–private partnership between the county and Kinetic.
Lee County will use about $12.5 million in state grant money from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds program, part of the federal American Rescue Plan.
The county has also committed an additional $1.2 million in matching funds.
Kinetic will invest $7.3 million and cover any cost overruns. It will also place about 360 miles of fiber-optic cable to bring high-speed fiber internet to Lee County.
State Rep. Bill Yearta, R-Sylvester, said he was “excited” about the project.
“I want to thank Gov. [Brian] Kemp, Kinetic, Sumter EMC and the Lee County Board of Commissioners,” he said. “This is a great public–private partnership. Broadband is vital for our communities today, just as rural electrification was 100 years ago. Kinetic’s reliable, high-speed internet will support economic development, education and healthcare in Lee County.”
County commissioners board Vice Chairman Chris Guarnieri said: “Broadband has become an essential quality-of-life amenity, unlocking doors to entertainment and communication options such as downloading and streaming. It supports a more flexible lifestyle, with remote employment and distance education.”
Georgia Broadband Program Executive Director Jessica Simmons added: “This pivotal moment ushers in new opportunities for Lee County. In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, this undertaking promises broadband capabilities tailored to the community’s future demands as well as its current needs.”
Kinetic’s ultrafast fiber-optic broadband lets users upload and download at up to 8 gigabits a second, or 8,000 megabits a second, providing what is widely known as “next-generation access.”
Households and businesses may call Kinetic at 229-317-1607 to find out if they are, or will be, eligible for a fiber speed upgrade. They may also preregister with Kinetic at windstream.com/kinetic-fiber.
Kinetic’s Lee County fiber project is part of a $2 billion multiyear capital investment strategy by Kinetic to dramatically expand gigabit fiber service across the company’s 18-state footprint.
Kinetic’s superfast, reliable fiber connections in Lee County empower residential customers to gig speeds to navigate the internet safely from home with no lag times while they work, participate in virtual classrooms or stream entertainment services. Businesses from small to enterprise size can take advantage of the fiber-backed network to deploy solutions that make their companies more efficient and profitable such as OfficeSuite UC® and SD-WAN. To learn more, visit GoKinetic.com.
Kinetic by Windstreamis a business unit of Windstream Holdings, a privately held communications and software company. Kinetic provides premium broadband, entertainment and security services through an enhanced fiber network to consumers and businesses primarily in rural areas in 18 states. The company also offers managed communications services, including SD-WAN and UCaaS, and high-capacity bandwidth and transport services to businesses across the U.S. Additional information is available at GoKinetic.com.
Source: Windstream Holdings