LaGrange thinks about the future

Published 12:04 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Oftentimes, city council and county commission meetings can feel tedious to those in attendance. Coverage of those events can also be easy to glaze over, overlook and generally pay little attention to. It is not particularly easy for most people to get excited over discussions on sewage pipes, maintenance budgets, property rezonings and the host of other, often mundane goings-on of local government bodies. We understand. It’s human nature to be drawn more easily to the dramatic headlines. Unfortunately, many media companies plan news coverage around this reality and leave important matters to local communities unattended. It has been our pledge to continue covering local government bodies, in addition to the rest of the news in Troup County, as this is the life-blood of our community.

Last Tuesday, the City of LaGrange met at Great Wolf Lodge for its annual council retreat. Some of the items on the agenda merited more coverage than others, and some were more exciting and dramatic than others. One item that was discussed, however, may not have seemed like a particularly important topic in the moment but will likely be a topic of discussion for months and years to come: bringing 5G communications to the city.

LaGrange has proven itself to be somewhat innovative in the technology space in the past, as it was recognized as the “Intelligent Community of the Year” by the Intelligent Community Forum in 2000 for its adaption of broadband internet. Now, nearly 20 years later, the city recognizes the need to once again look toward the technological horizon.

To this effort, the city spent time learning what, exactly, 5G is, and how it might impact business development. 5G itself defines a standard, not a technology and is defined by speeds of greater than 20 Gb/s and latency of less than 1 millisecond. The prospect of 5G brings with it more than just a jump in speed from the current 4G networks but will possibly allow for massive technological advancements, leading to opportunities in the private sector not available now. 

The council did not discuss the costs of bringing 5G to the city, as the prospect of rolling this technology out in LaGrange is likely still years away. However, it is good to understand our leaders are looking to the future.

5G technology is likely not coming to LaGrange anytime soon. However, the discussion is a good one to be having now. With the technological realities of our day changing quickly, the city is wise to look toward the future and discuss what it needs to do to stay ahead of the curve.