One Sumter’s broadband giveaway to be announced
Published 10:38 am Thursday, July 21, 2016
From STAFF REPORTS
AMERICUS – Over the past several months, the One Sumter Board of Directors has worked in partnership with key stakeholders across the business community to evaluate and measure Internet capacity in Americus and Sumter County. As this process of public engagement and input comes to a close in July, time is running short for you to go online, participate, and in return, register to win a free iPad Air 2!
On July 28, One Sumter will announce the winner of the iPad Give-Away, sponsored by Sumter EMC, at this month’s Chamber Business After Hours hosted by The DGR Group, 205 S. Lee St. Americus, at 5:30 p.m. To be eligible for the give-away, One Sumter needs your input. Utilizing a service called CrowdFiber, One Sumter asks the public to go online and complete the online survey at https://onesumter.crowdfiber.com.
Community members, as well as business and industry in the Americus-Sumter County area, are asked to spend the time to thoughtfully answer this survey as it is the foundation of this project’s analysis and recommendations. Survey respondents that complete the survey by July 27 will be registered to win a 64GB iPad Air 2 with WiFi + Cellular.
After July 28, Civitium will share aggregated information only with existing Internet service providers, evaluate plans to fill any gaps identified, and recommend any additional investments the firm believes are necessary and justifiable. To conclude the feasibility study, the firm will prepare a final report of data gathered and recommendations to One Sumter.
In January of this year, One Sumter contracted with Civitium, a Georgia-based consulting company specializing in broadband, to evaluate concerns of Internet reliability, redundancy and capacity further. Civitium has conducted many meetings with area businesses and is beginning the process of engaging existing service providers to share the feedback gathered thus far. Throughout the process, the One Sumter Broadband Stakeholder Group, comprised of 20 individuals representing diverse business interests, has provided input, review and advice.
Bailey White, Senior Partner at Civitium, will be on-hand at the Business After Hours on July 28 to discuss preliminary findings of the study and participate in the iPad give-away. Stressing the importance of survey participation, White says, “Our goal in this project is to be data-driven, helping the community better understand the resources it already has as well as any gaps in capabilities that need to be filled. The survey is one way to get at that goal.”
“Our EMC has always had a goal of enabling economic development in the communities we serve and our involvement with One Sumter furthers this goal,” states Ted McMillan, chairman of the One Sumter Economic Development Foundation’s board of directors. “One Sumter has been working diligently over the last several months to explore the feasibility of expanding the fiber optic infrastructure to the business community in Americus due to the fact that several stakeholders in Americus cited Internet connectivity as a potential limiter of growth in Sumter County. This survey is critical to this process.”
One Sumter Executive Director Mary Beth Bass adds, “One Sumter is neutral as to how any new broadband capabilities come to our community. We would love to see our community’s existing Internet providers enhance their services, and/or new providers operate in Americus. Either way, we want Sumter County to be able to compete and succeed in today’s global economy. Strong fiber networks and increased broadband capacity give us the competitive advantage we need.”