SGRITA Technology Director Jason Gauntt said the authority is hosting a Technology Day at West’s IGA in Edison Saturday where residents can sign up for high-speed Internet services. (Herald File Photo)
EDISON — Team members with the South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority will be at West’s Grocery IGA here from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, answering questions about the authority’s next-generation fixed wireless technology and signing up applicants for their high-speed Internet services.
The Technology Day with SGRITA event is the first of several planned in the seven-county area impacted by the authority. West’s is located at 19199 Hartford St. (State Highway 37).
“We’re planning a number of Technology Days throughout our coverage area,” SGRITA Technology Director Jason Gauntt said. “We’re going to tell folks the SGRITA story, show them the kind of services we offer. We’ll have refreshments for everybody, and everyone who signs up for one of our service packages will automatically be registered to win a Yeti cooler.”
The South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority was created by the state of Georgia to provide high-speed Internet services in an area of the state that is currently under-served by available providers. A 160-mile fiber ring erected through parts of Early, Colquitt, Mitchell, Baker, Miller, Seminole and Terrell counties allows households and businesses within the coverage area to receive up to 10 megabits of high-speed Internet service. Many in that area still have dial-up service.
More than $14 million in funding for the project was provided through the federal Broadband Technologies Opportunities Program and a OneGeorgia grant.
“SGRITA staff will be on hand to answer any questions about the services we provide, to sign customers up for our services and to allow potential customers to test the services,” said Gauntt, who left his position with the Albany Utility Board to head the SGRITA project. Gauntt is credited with putting together a plan with city of Albany personnel to complete the fiber ring within a strict deadline set by federal officials.
Asked how long a wait customers who sign up for SGRITA services must endure before their service is activated, Gauntt said, “Give us 10 minutes.”
“This is the best technology available,” he said. “This is next-generation fixed wireless service. Other providers are in the process of putting infrastructure in place to provide this technology in the future. We have it available in these rural counties today.”
Three levels of residential packages are offered by SGRITA: Bronze, which offers up to 2 megabits at a cost of $40 a month; Silver, which offers up to 5 megabits at $60 a month, and Gold, which offers up to 10 megabits at a cost of $85 a month.
For information about SGRITA services, visit www.sgrita.org online or call (866) 606-7103.
“And when people call, they’ll talk to a live person,” Gauntt notes.