Walker County to Host Community Engagement Listening Session on Digital Connectivity


Walker County Government will host a community engagement session next week to gather input from residents concerning challenges they face with internet access. The meeting will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, June 17 at the Walker County Civic Center, 10052 Hwy 27 in Rock Spring.

“We are currently working on a Digital Connectivity Plan for the county,” said Shannon Whitfield, Chair, Walker County Board of Commissioners. “This plan will map out a strategy to bring broadband services to unserved and underserved communities and put the county on a path to become a Broadband Ready Community.”

While basic access to broadband services remains an issue for roughly 13% of the county’s population, the community engagement session will cover other challenges residents face to getting online too. Some of these topics include affordability; availability of devices to access the internet; as well as the skills needed to be comfortable filling out job applications and making purchases online.

Once complete, Walker County’s Digital Connectivity Plan will be used to seek “Broadband Ready Community” status. The special designation will make the county eligible for state and federal grants that could reduce the cost of expanding broadband infrastructure into unserved areas, provide resources to address digital skills and encourage economic development.

Georgia recently received $1.3 billion in federal funds from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) Program to support broadband grant initiatives across the state.