Business and education opportunities
The speed and reliability of the network opens up the region to a number of business prospects. Businesses needing high-speed connections such as data and call centers can relocate to North Georgia now, and there are more opportunities for telecommuting and advancement in telemedicine. Area businesses connected to the network saw immediate results, allowing them to be more competitive in the global market.
“We suffered from slow DSL, frequent drops and long Internet outages,” Impulse Manufacturing President Ron Basden said. “We couldn’t compete on the world business stage because we couldn’t communicate in the protocols required by Fortune 500 companies. Now, we’re expanding and taking on new customers and employees.”
NGN has provided educational opportunities, too. Schools are just scratching the surface with the capabilities they have now.
“The other day we had a student that was hospital homebound,” said William Sperin, White County Schools technology director. “We used iPads to do FaceTime and stream the teacher live from her classroom to the student’s home so the student was able to catch up. We wouldn’t have even thought of doing that before with the slower Internet.”
Over the Thanksgiving holidays, Cleveland’s Babyland General, home of the Cabbage Patch Kids, made its first broadcast of its Christmas celebration to London over the North Georgia Network. Hundreds of doll collectors from around the world joined the event live online.
The 1,100 miles of new fiber optic network was built across eight counties with a 260-mile core transmission system redundant ring from Atlanta. NGN also provided an additional 840 miles of fiber to communities.
To date more than 300 businesses from Blue Ridge to Dawsonville are connected to the network, along with 42 schools, five colleges and universities, six libraries, 16 public safety agencies, 17 county and city governments, 29 medical facilities and about 2,000 homes. There are currently more than 4,000 potential connections to be completed in the future.
The network was built with state-of-the art equipment, employing 400 people and 22 companies from the region.
North Georgia Network will continue to build and operate the network in cooperation with its’ member EMCs Habersham and Blue Ridge Mountain, while Connect North Georgia will recruit business to the region.
With the network in place, the North Georgia Network has turned to attracting businesses and showing them how to take advantages of the opportunities that high-speed fiber optic Internet offers. Connect North Georgia, the economic development company of North Georgia Network, will assist businesses looking to maximize their Internet use.