North Georgia Network Completes High-Speed Fiber Network to the Rabun Business Park

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A project to extend high-speed fiber optic service in Rabun County has just been completed, enhancing business expansion and growth opportunities in Northeast Georgia. Funded in part by a OneGeorgia BRIDGE grant (Broadband Rural Initiative to Develop Georgia's Economy), this middle mile extension brings the latest in fiber optic technology to the Rabun Business Park.

A project to extend high-speed fiber optic service in Rabun County has just been completed, enhancing business expansion and growth opportunities in Northeast Georgia. Funded in part by a OneGeorgia BRIDGE grant (Broadband Rural Initiative to Develop Georgia's Economy), this middle mile extension brings the latest in fiber optic technology to the Rabun Business Park.

Late last year, the Joint Development Authorities (JDA) of Banks, Habersham and Rabun Counties selected the North Georgia Network to construct and maintain a six mile fiber optic network from downtown Clayton to Rabun Gap. High speed internet service on the network will be provided by Habersham EMC.

The Development Authority of Rabun County (with offices in the Rabun Business Park) is the first customer to sign up for the new service. “The Rabun Business Park can now offer new businesses high speed internet service from two independent providers,” said Ray Coulombe, Executive Director of the Development Authority. “We believe this will make the Business Park very attractive for companies that rely on high speed broadband to provide service to their customers.”

“This area can now attract data centers, call centers and other high-speed broadband users,” said Paul Belk, President of the North Georgia Network, which built the new fiber system through Clayton, Georgia to reach the Business Park. “This capacity can bring high-paying jobs and new companies that were unable to communicate from this area before.”

The new fiber optic network connects the Business Park and other users to the North Georgia Network, a 1,000-mile fiber optics communication system that covers eight north Georgia counties. The network provides gigabit-level internet service to businesses, schools, hospitals, governments and homes, and was funded by a $42 million grant under the federal Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program.

The Development Authority of Rabun County (DARC) is a county-funded agency whose mission is to develop new businesses, industry, and infrastructure to create new economic opportunities within Rabun County. The Rabun Business Park is an innovative adaptive-reuse of a former Fruit of the Loom textile manufacturing plant. It features a 971,000 square-foot multi-tenant building on a 96 acre site. The facility is owned by the DARC and professionally managed by Avison Young, a leading property management firm with offices in Atlanta.

The North Georgia Network is a non-profit communications company founded by local communities, the State of Georgia, the University of North Georgia and Habersham EMC and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. Five northeast Georgia counties participated in the planning and development of the North Georgia Network. The Rabun extension, which completed construction in March of 2013, is the first major expansion of the network.

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Donna Unger
North Georgia Network
706-754-5323
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Ray Coulombe
Development Authority of Rabun County
(706) 746-9975
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