The following press release was provide by Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
MOUNT VERNON – Mount Vernon/Ailey, GA – Officials representing Brewton Parker College and Altamaha EMC (also known as Altamaha Fiber), joined together with officials from the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, the Georgia General Assembly, and the City of Mount Vernon on Monday, August 8th on the campus of Brewton Parker College to celebrate a milestone that was achieved in providing broadband access for Montgomery County and the cities of Mount Vernon and Ailey. At the request of Brewton Parker College, Altamaha Fiber, installed a ten-gigabyte broadband connection to Brewton Parker College’s campus. According to representatives with Altamaha Fiber, the broadband connection will provide more than enough capacity for the students, faculty, administration, and staff of Brewton Parker College that have already started their fall semester.
This past February, Governor Kemp and state leaders awarded Altamaha EMC $5,973,474 in grant funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide Montgomery and Toombs counties with faster and more reliable broadband. Montgomery and Toombs Counties and the cities of Mount Vernon, Uvalda, Alston and Ailey provided over $3,800,000 from their local ARPA funds as matching funds. The broadband service being provided to Brewton Parker College’s campus is one of the many underserved areas in Montgomery County within the city limits of Mount Vernon and Ailey that will benefit from these grant funds. Brewton Parker College is located along US Highway 280 with the campus being located inside the city limits of both Mount Vernon and Ailey.
“I would like to express my appreciation to Romanous Dotson, General Manager, and Gavin Jordan, Supervisor for Installations, for going above and beyond to provide broadband for the fall semester students at BPC,” said Dr. Steve Echols, President of Brewton Parker College. Dr. Echols also expressed gratitude to Brandon Braddy, Montgomery County Manager, for initiating the upgrade and coordinating all aspects that made completion possible.
President Echols noted that the BPC campus student population has experienced fifty percent growth in the last seven years and the increased bandwidth was a tremendous improvement to provide on campus service that is ten times the previous capacity. Echols emphasized that the upgrade will allow the college to continue to grow its residency programs, but also will allow synchronous and asynchronous broadcasts of all of its classes to an online platform which he believes is a great opportunity for the college.
“The board of directors, manager and staff of Altamaha EMC appreciate the opportunity to serve Brewton Parker College and the students,” said Altamaha EMC General Manager Romanous Dotson. “We believe that the providing of fiber/broadband services to our communities is a continuation of the cooperative process. Our community is fortunate to have such forward thinking innovative leaders. We would like to thank everyone for allowing the cooperative to participate in the process that brings the world to our communities.”
Chairman Leland Adams, the Board of Commissioners, Mayor Joey Fountain, and State Representative Leesa Hagan were on campus to celebrate the event as well. “This is a historic moment for Montgomery County and Brewton Parker College,” said Chairman Leland Adams. “Altamaha EMC, along with our state and local leaders worked together as a team to make this broadband access possible. The Board of Commissioners and I would like to thank Senator Blake Tillery and Representative Leesa Hagan for their leadership in advocating for our community and making this broadband access a reality. Also, the commissioners and I would like to thank Altamaha EMC for accepting the responsibility for providing broadband service in our community.”
“This investment in broadband infrastructure is critical to a local community our size,” said Mayor Joey Fountain. “I am thankful that Governor Kemp and our state leaders recognize how important reliable broadband service is for Mount Vernon. Also, I appreciate Brewton Parker College’s investment in technology upgrades to prepare for this moment.”
“One of our top priorities in the General Assembly is supporting higher education in Georgia,” said State Representative Leesa Hagan. “An important way we’re doing that, especially in rural areas like ours, is to make sure the best possible broadband service is available. Brewton Parker College is an important part of the community. With the significant growth it’s seen over the past several years, it was vital to provide the higher capacity that they needed.”
Tammye Vaughn, Manager of Marketing & Communications at Altamaha Fiber encourages the public to visit Altamaha Fiber’s website at https://join.altamahafiber.com/ to check for updates as to when service will be provided in your area.