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Hogansville competing for funds for broadband internet access

The City of Hogansville is competing for a grant that would potentially provide high speed internet to the areas of the city, but it currently doesn’t have enough survey responses from citizens to receive the funding.

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) would fund high-speed Internet access to unserved or underserved locations within the Hogansville community. According to City Manager David Milliron, Hogansville is the only city government in the state of Georgia that wants to use the grant for broadband access. 

“The grant is an innovation grant from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs,” Milliron said. “Out of the 11 applicants [for a CDBG grant], five were invited to move forward with phase two.” 

The phase two of the application has to be hand delivered to the state by Feb. 14, 2020. 

In response, the city is seeking information through a survey to determine/define the broadband needs of its residents and businesses

According to Milliron, the data in the survey is being collected by the City of Hogansville in order to identify areas that are unserved by broadband internet access and to identify corresponding demands for service. 

Milliron said the city has not received enough responses in the survey and will need at least 300.  

“We have a very short fuse on the application,” Milliron said. “We are doing everything we can to get the surveys completed, so we can be able to quantify and justify the need. We already know the need is there, and our maps show where the need is. But when you’re dealing with federal funds, there are requirements to get specific information.” 

Hogansville has sent out fliers in the utility bills, posted the survey online and will soon go door-to-door to fill out the proper information it needs to move forward with the application.  

“We serve roughly about 1,100 customers,” Milliron said. “We estimate within the targeted households … 308 of those households live within the low-to-moderate income area and need to be included into the surveys.” 

Milliron said high-speed internet access is crucial for the success of those living in Hogansville.  

“If you do not have high speed internet, you will not be a city of the future,” Milliron said. 

Hogansville residents can access the survey by following the link bit.ly/2PSH1sd.