Allen Davis, founder of Community Broadband, a company based in Savannah and specializing in building fiber-optic networks, gave the council an update on the progress the business has made since coming to an agreement in May with the city.
“We are pleased to announce that on March 18th we entered a strategic partnership with Southern Co. and part of that arrangement is to serve the Georgia Power customer care center,” he said. “We will continue building and securing 200 miles of fiber-optic network that will secure our services from Atlanta to Macon.”
Davis said the company has completed field engineering work and is looking for companies to enter into contracts with for resources, equipment support and other services.
“It takes a lot of time and effort to support the expansive development of a project like this, but we’re hoping to hook up our first customer by the end of this year,” he said.
Before that process can start, however, Davis said the company is looking for a new office location in the city in which to expand.
“Earlier this year, we realized we needed to keep looking for the right office and space that fits our needs and we will continue looking,” he said. “We hope to wrap that up in next two months so that actual completion of building the network can be finished in roughly six months, while the actual installation process of hooking up customers will take longer.”
Newly hired Main Street Manager Kira Harris-Braggs presented the council with the immediate next steps needed to get the city’s program up and running.
The plans included setting district boundaries for the area.
According to her presentation, the north boundary will be Lovejoy and Berry streets, the south boundary will be North Henry Boulevard, the west boundary will be Burke Street and the east boundary will be East Atlanta Road, including the city hall complex and ball fields behind the complex.
Council members approved the proposal 4-0 with one council member, Alphonso Thomas, abstaining.
Harris-Braggs, who most recently worked as the McDonough Main Street manager, said a commitment to implementation and community involvement was needed to meet the one-year deadline for start-up set by the National Main Street Center.
“We need to move forward in incremental steps and look at promoting self-help, getting our community involved, create partnerships with businesses, churches, schools and other organizations and working cooperatively,” she said.
Harris-Braggs said a call has already been put out to try to get advisory board members appointed for the program and the city is hoping to receive applications within the next few weeks.