2018-04-12 / Front Page

Regional high-speed internet system improves county growth opportunity

Lincoln County businesses and homeowners now have access to the same ultra-high-speed internet as defense contractors at Fort Gordon, thanks to recent service upgrades by Relyant Communications.

“We now have the ability to ac­tively recruit defense contractors from Fort Gordon’s Cyber Com­mand, by offering the same internet speeds to which they have access on post,” said Lincoln County Development Authority Executive Director John Stone. “Folks have been asking what the ‘Cyber Ready’ sign means at the entrance to our county at Little River Bridge, and this is what that’s about. We are letting every visitor know that we have world-class internet ac­cess countywide. This has been a national economic development challenge for rural counties for the past decade, a challenge which Lin­coln County has now met,” Stone continued.

The county’s internet system was connected in December to the regional high-speed system through what is known as the “Columbia County Ring,” which is in turn connected to the main trunk line to Atlanta.

Most consumers and small busi­nesses don’t need the extreme high- speed and capacity advantages of T-3, which carries a premium price as a service option. Standard high- speed access is more than adequate to cover even the large data require­ments of streaming video services such as Netflix or Amazon, as well as email, browsing, and most other internet needs.

However, larger businesses, such as defense contractors, must have the higher speeds and greater data handling ability to meet massive upload and download requirements and cannot locate in areas without the upgraded service level.

Defense contractors can now for the first time look to Lincoln County for potential satellite office operations, such as data processing and storage.

The technology upgrade also al­lows the county to begin actively recruiting “SCIF” locations. SCIF, a military acronym for Sensitive Compartmented Information Fa­cility, is an area or building used to process classified information for emergency situations and can be used as a remote backup office to on-post main facilities, whether permanent or temporary.

Lincoln County joined the Fort Gordon Alliance in 2017, consist­ing of the seven counties contigu­ous to the post. The Alliance works to support Fort Gordon and its mis­sions, and to promote economic de­velopment in the surrounding area. Alliance fees are covered jointly by Lincoln County Board of Com­missioners and the Lincoln County Development Authority.

Since the upgrade, sites in the county have already been visited by parties interested in remote data locations, which could employ 6-12 persons per facility, greatly improv­ing the opportunity for accelerated growth in industry.

Return to top