Mediacom announces new broadband platform tech for Southwest Georgia

New platform makes region one of the country’s largest gigabit areas

By Jennifer Parks

April 25, 2017

ALBANY — Albany Technical College was host on Tuesday, with city and county officials, business leaders and legislators in attendance, to the demonstration of a new generation broadband platform for a 30-county region of Southwest Georgia that officials said makes the region one of the country’s largest gigabit areas.

The demonstration showed how new generation broadband fuels technologies to consumers through an investment transforming a fiber-rich digital network reaching homes that will have access to “super-fast” one-gig Internet speeds.

The speeds will be available in 52 communities within the 30 counties in the region. In all, 275,000 homes are expected to have access to the network, which is being made available through $1 billion in private capital being invested by the company over a three-year period.

The capabilities allowed with through the technology, which was made available to the public within the last year, has resulted in a growing number of devices within American households.

“For me, it reminds me of (classic futuristic cartoon character) George Jetson,” said Phil Skinner, area operations director for Mediacom.

John Pascarelli, executive vice president of operations for Mediacom, said that most of the company’s employees have yet to get access to the next-generation technology. While maintaining its current network, he said the company has remained committed to expanding its reach and the services it is able to offer.

“Everyone we serve in south Georgia will have access to this, and we are very proud of that,” Pascarelli said.

Officials said Southwest Georgia is now the state’s largest region at which residents can connect to the new faster Internet speeds, and Mediacom is becoming the first Internet service provider to make the new cable-delivered broadband technology available beyond Atlanta.

It is still rare for residents in the U.S. to have ready-access to one-gigabit Internet, and Mediacom’s investment makes it available in a service area traditionally perceived to be lagging behind the rest of the country in innovative technology.

Legislative leaders and city officials got a first-hand look at the technology Mediacom is prepared to deliver to residents living in the impacted area, including state Rep. Ed Rynders, a Leesburg Republican who represents House District 152, Albany City Commissioner B.J. Fletcher and Albany Area Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Rivera Holmes.  

Fletcher and Holmes spoke on the economic impact that stands to be gained from the advancement, while Rynders comment on what it means to have such a resource in an underserved area.

“We are impacting people’s lives,” Rynders said.

J.R. Walden, Mediacom’s chief technology officer, said one-gigabit access has implications for almost everything in the modern age, further emphasizing that there cannot be a “digital divide” between major cities and low-density populations when it comes to fast Internet.

“Without a fast connection to the Internet, you are not going to be able to participate,” he said.