May 2, 2012 Milestones By

Lumpkin County ‘C-POP’ opening ceremony set for May 2

DAHLONEGA, Ga. (May 2, 2012) – The North Georgia Network will come full circle as it opens a Core Point of Presence at an official “lighting“ ceremony at 10 a.m. May 2 in Lumpkin County, where the $42 million grant project began in 2009.

The idea for the 1,100-mile fiber-optic network was launched at the Lumpkin County Development Authority out of the desire to attract higher-paying jobs to the North Georgia region. Research showed counties in North Georgia needed to create a technology infrastructure to make it possible for high-tech companies to locate here.

“Over the past decades, we’ve seen technology influence where businesses locate,” North Georgia Network President Bruce Abraham said. “First technology-dependent businesses were in downtown Atlanta, then they moved up Ga. 400 to areas like Windward Parkway.

“To offer a good quality of life, companies want to be able to place their businesses in areas away from the high traffic and high cost of living that defines Atlanta. By creating the North Georgia Network, we’ve put into place the infrastructure to attract top companies to North Georgia. The network is for those who will come and for those who are already here.”

The Lumpkin C-POP ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday near Lumpkin County Middle School on Mountain View Drive. Lumpkin County Schools donated the site for the C-POP.

“Lumpkin County Schools are a leader in technology and this keeps us on the cutting edge,” said Dewey Moye, superintendent of Lumpkin County Schools.

Moye will provide the opening comments for the ceremony. Scott Woods, Senior Communications Program Specialist and Federal Program Officer with the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, will speak along with Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, State Senator and Executive Director of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County Steve Gooch, Chairman of the Development Authority of Lumpkin County Chris Dockery, Lumpkin County High student Ethan Norton, and Chief Information Officer for North Georgia College & State University Bryson Payne.

The Lumpkin C-POP is the second of six along the network that connects back to the Internet hub in Atlanta from two directions and circles through the eight-county region in North Georgia. The Cleveland C-POP opened in February. Two other C-POPs – in Dawsonville and Cumming –will be located in new facilities, such as the one in Dahlonega, and are scheduled to be installed before the end of 2012. Two more C-POPs will be installed in existing buildings at the southernmost and northernmost points on the core ring – Atlanta and Blairsville. The entire project will be completed by Nov. 30, 2012.

The North Georgia Network began as a joint effort of economic development professionals in Dawson, Forsyth, Lumpkin, Union and White counties, North Georgia College & State University, Blue Ridge Mountain EMC and Habersham EMC. The groups’ effort has brought more reliable and more affordable high-speed Internet access to residents in an eight county area including Dawson, Forsyth, Habersham, Lumpkin, Rabun, Towns, Union and White counties.

The $42 million North Georgia Network broadband infrastructure project was made possible in large part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). ARRA provided grant funds to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to support major improvements in broadband infrastructure for the nation’s digitally unserved and underserved.

In December 2009, NGN became the first organization to be awarded a grant through the program, receiving $33 million under the NTIA’s Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP). Additional funding came from the OneGeorgia Authority and participating local communities.

“The federal stimulus money was a godsend,” Abraham said. “Our governments, schools and hospitals were suffering because of the lack of high-speed Internet availability. The communities rallied around the project, and Habersham EMC and Blue Ridge Mountain EMC helped to get it off the ground.

“The federal government recognized the communities had done their homework, fully supported the endeavor and made the North Georgia Network the first grant.”

For more information on the North Georgia Network, please visit the website at

For more information, contact:
Tiffany Fessler
Morton Vardeman & Carlson

Jeff Butler
Morton Vardeman & Carlson