Coweta approves ARPA funds for broadband expansion

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The Coweta County Board of Commissioners has unanimously approved a broadband infrastructure expansion project with Charter Communications, which will be funded under the American Rescue Plan Act.

Under the terms of the agreement, Charter Communications will construct and install a wired broadband network providing 1,000 megabits per second download capacity and 500 megabits per second upload capacity to approximately 1,128 residential addresses.

The program will use $900,000 of ARPA funds from Coweta.

According to Hans Wilson, Coweta’s chief financial officer, the U.S. Treasury has encouraged ARPA recipients to “give priority to projects designed to provide service to locations not currently served by a wireline connection that reliably provides at least 100 megabits per second download speed and 20 megabits per second”. download speed.”

As part of the agreement, Charter is required to participate in the Federal Communications Commission’s Affordable Connectivity Program or provide access to a large-scale accessibility program to low-income consumers in the service area.

The FCC’s Affordable Connectivity Program provides a rebate of up to $30 per month on Internet service for eligible households, and up to $75 per month for households located on eligible tribal lands.

To be eligible for the Affordable Connectivity Program, households must fall within 200% or less of the federal poverty guidelines, or if a household member meets at least one of the criteria, including having received a federal Pell Grant in the current year, meets eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income internet program, participates in the National School Lunch Program or School Breakfast Program, or SNAP, Medicaid, Federal Public Housing Assistance, SSI, WIC, Veterans Pension or Survivor Benefits or Lifeline.

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