Proudly celebrating eleven years of faithfully serving our readers, the people of Henry County


"Celebrating Henry County"


Hey Henry
Submit A Hey Henry
As It Was
Look Closer
Church Notes
Submit A Classified
Click & Save
Inside Henry
Where in The World

Site Search
Contact Us
Find Us
Site News




We have 15 new
Hey Henrys
this week!

Submit your
"Hey Henry"






Broadband project on track
in Stockbridge


By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

  An ongoing plan to bring fiber-optic broadband Internet service to Stockbridge should see its first customer before the end of 2014, according to an update at last week’s City Council meeting.

  Allen Davis of Community Broadband, the firm overseeing the project, said that under an agreement with Georgia Power the first service area will be the utility’s customer call center on Patrick Henry Parkway, and it should be up and running there later this year.

  When the project was unveiled in 2013 it was announced that the first site operating with the new service would be City Hall, but there was no mention of why that has changed.

  The new online service, expected to be much faster than anything currently available in the area, is focusing on government, education, medical, utility and commercial customers, according to Davis.

  “We’ve been involved in several of the major fiber builds in the eastern U.S. in the past 10 years,” he said, adding that no other project in the United States has been designed specifically like this.

  Stockbridge was selected for this initiative because of its proximity to Atlanta, I-75 and Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, he said.

  Citing a similar project in Chattanooga that has resulted in a new Amazon facility being located there, Davis said officials in that city expect 5,000 new jobs to be created.

  Now that a new network between Atlanta and Macon is in place, there are a number of “splice locations” such as Stockbridge along that line, Davis said.

  He called the coming broadband service “an important local and regional asset,” comparing its importance to when electrical service is first introduced to an area.

  “You will be in a position long-term to support new industry and commercial activity coming to this area,” he told the council.

  Field engineering work has been completed for the first phase, which Davis said will serve about 2,900 sites when completed in 2015. All work so far has been done at no cost to the city.

  A particular area of need throughout the process has been the public schools in Stockbridge and Henry County, and Davis reiterated at the meeting that serving those facilities is a top priority, saying that the schools now are “substantially underserved” and this system will meet their long-term needs.

  Piedmont Henry Hospital and the surrounding area will also be a key service point for the project, he added.

  Community Broadband previously stipulated that its headquarters would move to Stockbridge as part of its agreement with the city. The company maintained an office temporarily in a city-owned space near the Merle Manders Conference Center, but Davis said that was vacated when the city’s dispute with the Downtown Development Authority began and he did not want his company involved in that situation in any way.

  The company is now searching for an appropriate location to meet its needs, including a traditional storefront office as well as other space for equipment storage, Davis said.

  “We remain very excited about the opportunity and encouraged by the market,” he said. “We’ve contacted 200 businesses in this service area, and the local business community is very much in favor of us developing the network. The demand out there far exceeds our ideas of what it might be.”



©Henry County Times, Inc.