Image of people connected online in background with state of Georgia in foreground plus text saying "Georgia Gets An Upgrade."

This article was originally published on Authored by Matt Lillywhite. Link:

Governor Brian Kemp recently announced nearly $15 million in preliminary grant awards for broadband internet expansion via the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program. These grants will help communities, households, businesses, and anchor institutions in several Georgia counties improve their connectivity, per a press release by the Governor’s office.

Governor Kemp announced the establishment of the Capital Projects Fund Grant Program last year, which would use funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. The Georgia Technology Authority and the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget collaborated to identify the state’s most unserved and underserved counties and to establish a competitive grant process to receive applications for Governor Kemp’s consideration.

“Since day one, my administration has prioritized bringing opportunity to all parts of our state, including those areas often overlooked,” said Governor Kemp. “These projects are just the latest steps we’ve taken to connect Georgians in rural communities with professional and educational opportunities, building on the significant progress we have made in recent years to close the digital divide.”

According to a statement released by the Governor’s office, nearly $30 million will be invested to serve over 3,500 locations in areas most in need of high-speed internet access. These awards follow the state of Georgia’s announcement in January of $234 million in preliminary grant funds for 28 counties.

“High-speed internet access is critical for both academic and economic opportunities, as well as overall quality of life,” said Governor Kemp. “These projects announced today will go a long way to helping Georgians in some of the most unserved and underserved parts of the state become better connected.”

Key Take-Aways of this Announcement:

  • The goal is universal  broadband availability
  • The government is paying for almost all of it
  • This will mean more choices for business as well as home users 
  • The carriers will not tell customers about this, using an independent agent (like OTA) will give them all of the available options

Reach out to Online Technology Associates today to learn more, at no cost to you!

Hacker's lines of code on screen with headline: "Sharing Your Internet? Probably So!"

If you think sharing your internet with strangers is a bad idea, you are correct!  However, you may be doing just that without knowing it.

A popular internet service called “Broadband” is actually shared with many users and not just in your neighborhood – but with users miles away. Is there any other type of internet that is not shared? The answer is YES!  But only if you have a business circuit known as dedicated internet.

Carriers have proprietary names for business circuits such as DIA, DDE, and other confusing names. These carriers also hide shared services behind confusing words such as Uverse, Xfinity, and product codes with the designation of BB (Broadband) in the product code.

How can you find out if your internet service is shared? Well…all cable circuits are Broadband, and there are many fiber optic circuits that are low price and these are also all shared. In fact, any service that has a speed rating with two numbers for the speed, such as 100M X 20, are shared! Check your product!

You may have a VPN on your shared service – which does help…But that circuit is still shared and is easily hacked at points beyond your VPN, which ends at the carrier. The best protection begins with a dedicated circuit, but that alone is still not enough.

You may not think you need the additional security of a dedicated service and other safeguards such as custom firewalls designed for your usage, and you may not. But if you are a business that deals with customer information of any type: addresses, dates of birth, ages, or any personal information that could help a hacker steal their identity – then you definitely need to take every precaution to avoid being liable for identity theft of the people you do business with!

There are credible estimates that almost, if not all of the US population have already been hacked!

The best way to avoid being blamed, or even sued for this is to take all reasonable precautions to prevent it.  It is definitely a scary world we live in, so take precautions to carefully secure the information you are trusted with.  


Many office workers connected online.

What exactly is the difference in Fiber Connectivity for Business? – There are several Categories and Types, with the cost and quality of services varying greatly! Therefore, no single carrier or product is right for every business.

Dedicated or Broadband?

You may be familiar with the term, “Broadband”, but do you know what it means?  If not, then you aren’t alone…the Carriers and even the Trade use this term for very different products. One thing to know is that each internet circuit is either Broadband or Dedicated. Here are the differences: 

First, Dedicated refers to a custom-built circuit that can be used to access the public internet:

  • These are custom-built circuits – similar to having a private entrance ramp or having your own lane custom-built for just one particular customer.
  • Dedicated Circuits are much higher in quality and price than broadband services because they get their own lane to internet access!
  • Dedicated Circuits are cleaner and MUCH more secure than broadband services.
  • These circuits are also synchronous – meaning that the upload speeds are the same – up and down, day and night regardless of what other users down the street or across town are doing.
  • Since Dedicated Circuits are also cleaner – they are much more efficient, meaning there is less static and trash on the circuit – this is the reason Dedicated Circuits do not need as much speed as you would with a broadband circuit.

Think of it this way; you are trying to move a certain amount of data, the Dedicated Circuit is like an empty truck, everything in it is your data, whereas the broadband circuit is like a truck that is already 60% or more full of trash, so you need a bigger truck, much bigger to move the same amount of data.

On the other hand, there are Broadband Circuits:

  • Broadband Circuits are usually, but not always asynchronous – meaning that the upload and download speeds are different. Your Downloads (data you receive) are much faster than the Uploads, (data you send out). These Broadband Circuits were initially developed for residential use – where most of the activity is at-home users downloading and not doing much uploading.
  • Broadband services are also shared circuits, meaning they are much less secure and the performance you get is highly affected by other users in your neighborhoods and across the network.
  • While Dedicated Circuits have an SLA, or Service Level Agreement, meaning that the carrier guarantees uptime, the industry standard is 99.999 % uptime and guaranteed quality measured in latency and dropped packets – The Broadband products carry a “Best Effort” policy, meaning that the carrier will do its best to maintain service and quality, but no guarantees!
  • Cable circuits are always Broadband Circuits, but FIBER can be either Broadband or Dedicated Circuits!

As you would expect, there is a large difference in pricing between the Dedicated and Broadband services – and neither is best for every business. Unfortunately, there are no requirements that a data circuit be designated as one or the other – which means that catchy product names, such as “Business” or “High Speed” do not tell the full story. It is advisable to purchase from an independent consultant who will tell you exactly what you are purchasing…and that’s exactly who we are.

Confusing? Yep, we get that and are here to help you make sense of what your business does and does not need. Reach out to Online Technology Associates today for a consultation on your business needs!