Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Digital Georgia Program

Enabling the Digital Economy throughout the State


Bill Price

Digital Georgia Program

Planning and Strategy Office

Georgia Technology Authority


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Join the Digital Georgia Newsletter

March 3, 2014

The Digital Georgia program is beginning to publish monthly newsletter updates.  The newsletter will include important technology projects, events, and digital economy related news statewide.  Register here.

Chamber Executives Are Key to to State Digital Economic Planning Success

February 19, 2014

There is no one solution to the economic challenges Georgia’s communities face, challenges ranging from job creation, workforce readiness, education, health care, public safety and beyond. But if it were possible to single out one tool with the greatest potential for positive impact anywhere in the state---a tool that touches all these community challenges---that tool would be the Internet, broadband access and the applications that can transform how business and governments operate.  

Increasing Georgians’ access to—and use of—the Internet and application of technologies is Job One for the Digital Georgia Program, a state initiative from the Georgia Technology Authority (GTA). The Digital Georgia Program at GTA is reaching out to Georgia’s chamber executives to help facilitate an ambitious Regional Digital Economy Planning Project for each of Georgia’s twelve regions that can have an impact on all businesses in the state as they compete in the global economy.

“Chamber of commerce executives have the attention and respect of businesses across Georgia, and they are in a unique position to inform, educate and influence them,” said Bill Price with GTA’s Digital Georgia Program. “They are closest to economic growth and innovation, and usually on the edge of technology adoption and communicating new ideas in communities.”   

Read the entire release.

ArcGIS.com Now Features Digital Georgia

January 23, 2014

The Carl Vinson Institute at UGA has implemented an advanced viewer for the Digital Georgia broadband maps in arcgis.com.  What this means is that you can now go online to see more details of school locations and other community anchor institutions, specific coverage maps by broadband provider, Connect America funded areas, venture capital funding across the state, and even telehealth centers.  We'll be publishing videos over time to help those unfamiliar with ArcGIS learn to use the system.  http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=a4f2860d135a46779474e0d7b9f8c1cc

Measure Mobile Broadband

December 2, 2013

Get the New FCC Mobility Test for Android phones and help create the most accurate map possible for cellular service in Georgia. http://www.fcc.gov/measuring-broadband-america/mobile

Come to North Georgia for Our First Conference!

November 4, 2013

Plan to visit Lanier Technical College in Cumming, GA to discuss innovation and emerging trends in Georgia's digital economy on December 12, 2013.  Register today at http://www.cviog.uga.edu/gta.

Georgia Receives Third Highest Disbursement of first Universal Service Funds for Broadband

September 18, 2013

The FCC has now published its first allocation of Universal Service Funding through the Connect America Fund.  This fund seeks for every household to access at least 4 Mbps of wireline internet service.  

Georgians will receive an investment of over $30M from the fund, just below the amounts going to Tennessee and Puerto Rico but above all others.  The FCC forecasts this investment to benefit almost 53,000 households in Georgia, and this number of households is the highest across the nation by roughly 20%.  All other states and territories are forecast at 44,000 households or less to benefit with some at less than 100.  Such low counts in other states and territories may reflect different telecommunications environments with smaller companies.  Only the nation's largest carriers were eligible in this initial round.  Download the data here.

Venture Capital in Georgia

September 17, 2013

As you know, the Digital Economy includes entrepreneurship.  Take a look at this map prepared by University of Georgia using data from CB Insights on venture capital investment and initial public offerings across Georgia.  http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=56e71fdf0f6c45a69889369b64a23c46&extent=-86.2579,31.5247,-80.2374,35.212

Updating the Georgia Broadband Map

September 5, 2013

Every six months, GTA works with over 90 carriers to update Georgia's broadband coverage.  We are working on this for an October 1 submission right now.  If you'd like to get a taste for what is involved, take a look at these videos that describe how broadband providers can update our records electronically.


Fiber Mapping and the National Broadband Map

August 10, 2013

One of the most discussed portions of the broadband map is its fiber information.  On the national map, users can compare statistics for the percentage of the population served by most any geography, and I have tracked this statistic for Georgia over the years as the stat has shown our state’s fiber coverage double over the last few years.  The question is, has Georgia’s fiber coverage doubled so quickly?

One of the biggest challenges with mapping fiber is that, much like the interstate, what is most important is not the particular route taken, but the on ramps and off ramps.  If a large bundle of fiber is buried several feet below ground throughout a county with no Point of Presence site nearby, it does not have much value for that area.  

Historically, our broadband mapping process has still shown those traversed areas as served by fiber.  And as we have worked with more and more providers, we have been able to represent additional services so they potential misrepresentation has grown.  We have been working over the last six months to remove transport routes as served locations and are coordinating with providers, peers across the country, and our leadership at NTIA to more accurately reflect true fiber service availability.

In addition, we are reviewing and updating the purpose of the fiber services we have catalogued.  We do not want to see fiber service deployed for select business high rises equated with fiber to the home service throughout a census block.  The national statistics at this point do not reflect this difference and this leads to inflated statistics about fiber service availability.  If a major carrier’s carrier has service to a peering point or set of buildings in a densely populated census block, that block’s population is counted as served by fiber.  

The first step is to make sure our data is accurately marked and then to work on the display of that data.   We are thankful to have a good dialogue with most Internet service providers.  On the Georgia maps you will shortly be able to differentiate between residential and business services across all of our maps.

Beyond these challenges of data management, it is also important to note the varying degree of fiber availability submitted by our Internet providers.  Several small ILEC and cable providers provide fiber footprints (marked as business-only) underneath their DSL and cable service layers while larger providers tend to submit only their residential / small business offerings that utilize some form of DSL or cable.  Fiber underpins many of these networks and is often used to provide direct service to large businesses, schools, hospitals, and other major users.  We actively encourage all providers to provide data on all of their service availability and will continue to include such data wherever we can. 

New Mapping Site Launched

July 15, 2013

Our new mapping application is live.  Check it out at: http://digital.georgia.gov/map/.  Next step is a new site for the Digital Georgia program.  Stay tuned and watch for digital.georgia.gov to ramp up late summer / early fall.

New Interactive Maps Tested

June 13, 2013

Try the new maps being developed at http://beta.appgeo.com/georgiabroadband/ and let us know what you think!

Technology Innovation Showcase

February 18, 2013

Get recognized at Georgia's Digital Government Summit and beyond by letting GTA know about your project.  Categories include:

  • Cross-boundary Collaboration and Partnerships
  • Data, Information and Knowledge Management
  • Digital Government - Government to Business
  • Digital Government - Government to Citizen
  • Enterprise IT Management Initiatives
  • Improving State or Local Government Operations
  • Information Communications Technology Innovations
  • Open Government Initiatives
  • Cyber Security Initiatives

Georgia Broadband Gets Social

January 15, 2013

In addition to Flickr, which has hosted high resolution map imagery for our program for some time, we are now experimenting with various social media and encourage you to take a look.  See http://www.scoop.it/t/georgia-broadband as a first reflection of the variety of things in our economy and daily lives that are relevant to broadband.

We are also trying several other formats.  Here is a link to each of them:

Please Welcome Bill Price

November 20, 2012

Bill Price has joined Georgia Technology Authority as its new Broadband Coordinator to run the Broadband Mapping Program.  Bill led a similar program in Florida and is a long time resident of Roswell.  

Celebrating Rural Georgia

October 10, 2012

Bailey White presented a short presentation on GTA's Mapping Program in Tifton at the well attended Celebrating Rural Georgia organized by Saralyn Stafford, Department of Community Affairs, and OneGeorgia.  Commissioner Beatty provided strong leadership.  Over 250 people joined the event.  

Many attendees asked questions about broadband and there was clear interest in expanding the role broadband plays in rural Georgia's economy and way of life.  The Georgia Rural Development Council has created a recommendation for Governor Deal on this topic.

Map of BTOP Awardee Networks

June 14, 2012

NTIA (National Telecommunications and Information Administration) has published a map of the communities involved in BTOP awards.  This map portrays the anchor institutions connected with BTOP funds, BTOP public computer center and training programs, and infrastructure investments.


FCC (Federal Communications Commission) News 

May 24, 2012

FCC Announces Public-Private Initiative to Help Drive FCC Broadband Agenda.

FCC releases $300M under the Phase 1 Connect America Fund Program under Universal Services Fund (USF) to price cap carriers with over $100M to companies whose operations include Georgia …

FCC publishes Eligible  Mobility Funds Area US Map (includes Georgia Areas).  Reverse auction to take place in September 2012.

FCC announced $25M pilot for Eligible Telecommunications Carriers to test broadband adoption strategies for low-income populations.

Critical Links For Georgia Broadband Mapping

December 22, 2011


Comcast, Governor Deal, Congressman Lewis, and Mayor Reed Unveil Ambitious and Comprehensive Broadband Adoption Experiment

Internet Essentials’ to Provide Families with Children Eligible for a Free Lunch Under the National School Lunch Program with Low-Cost Internet Service, Affordable Computers and Digital Literacy Training

ATLANTA, GA - August 8, 2011

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, U.S. Congressman John Lewis, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and David L. Cohen, Comcast Corporation Executive Vice President, today launched Internet Essentials, an ambitious and comprehensive broadband adoption program. Available to 317,000 low-income families with children eligible to receive a free lunch under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) in 28 metro-Atlanta area school districts, the goal of Internet Essentials is to help close the digital divide and ensure more Americans benefit from all the Internet has to offer. The Internet Essentials program addresses three primary barriers to broadband adoption that research has identified – 1) a lack of understanding of how the Internet is relevant and useful; 2) the cost of a home computer, and 3) the cost of Internet service... 

Comcast website: http://www.internetessentials.com/how/index.html   

Download Georgia Datasets

Georgia and the nation's other states and territories have made their broadband mapping data sets available

at: www.broadbandmap.gov/data-download 

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