By Larry K. Williams, TAG president and CEO

Georgia’s robust technology talent pipeline and impressive innovation ecosystem make our state the perfect place for information and communications technology (ICT) companies. Over the last six years alone, and despite the global Covid-19 pandemic, ICT companies have created more than 21,000 new jobs in Georgia. In fact, ICT is one of the fastest growing sectors in the region.

Ranked fifth in the nation with 100+ companies, Georgia boasts strong offerings in everything from telecommunications and multimedia services to fiber optics. In particular, Georgia’s telecom industry is anchored by companies like AT&T, Comcast, EarthLink and Verizon, enhanced by home grown successes like Cbeyond and so many others.

At TAG, we are committed to bridging the digital divide and using ICT as a way to bring our diverse communities together. As such, we continue to work with the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) on upskilling IT professionals. The focus is on training underserved, diverse populations in both urban and rural areas.

We also commend Governor Brian Kemp’s announcement to provide $408 million in grants from federal coronavirus relief funds to 49 entities to expand high-speed internet access in rural parts of the state. Indeed, 10% of Georgia residents do not have adequate broadband infrastructure and 39% live in areas with only one internet provider available.

Broadband is essential to business, education, healthcare, agriculture, and overall quality of life, and we look forward to being a part of the movement that will help Georgia’s underserved communities gain access to high-speed internet.