Rural Georgia residents push for broadband

Sep 16, 2016

Steve Fortmann Speaks at Broadband Meeting

Steve Fortmann, meanwhile, questioned what government can do and whether residents should even wait to find out.

The Royston resident said he was shocked when he discovered his family did not have high-speed service when they first moved from Atlanta a few years ago.

What he said he found instead was 1.5 megabits per second speeds, which was not fast enough to view the online videos needed for the family’s home-study program.

It certainly wasn’t fast enough to stream Netflix.

“I know, that’s not very important, but quality of life for your family is important,” he said. “Sometimes you just want to watch Curious George with your four-year-old.”

Fortmann started his own wireless company, Paladin, which serves 200 customers and has 600 people on a waiting list.

The company’s site says the business “was born out of necessity and exists to fill the gaps left by major service providers who don't think our region is worth investing into.”

Fortmann said the solutions for coverage in rural Georgia already exist.  

"You’re telling me getting internet a mile away isn’t feasible but we can shoot somebody into space? That’s a little crazy to me,” he said.

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The above excerpt was  written by: Jill Nolin, who covers the Georgia Statehouse for CNHI's newspapers and websites.