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Georgetown Selected For Federal Program Aimed At Improving Broadband

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Market Street is a main focus of the town's efforts to bring broadband to downtown (Source; WBOC) Market Street is a main focus of the town's efforts to bring broadband to downtown (Source; WBOC)

GEORGETOWN, Del. - The U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday that Georgetown was one of five communities from across the country selected to participate in the "Cool & Connected Planing Assistance Program," which aims to harness broadband services for "downtown revitalization and economic development." 

This announcement followed the completion of a high-speed fiber ring in December, which connected four county buildings in Georgetown. Through this program, a team of "experts" will be sent to Georgetown to create a strategy for expanding this broadband to other homes and businesses in order to create more economic development. 

Town Manager Gene Dvornick said that getting high-speed internet in their downtown would be crucial for revitalization efforts. 

"It starts making the town that much more attractive," said Dvornick. "And when you look at it as one more piece of infrastructure, it's one more plus. You have water. Check. Sewer. Check. Broadband availability. Check. And it makes it a more desirable place to locate." 

Broad Valley Micro Fiber Networks built the fiber line, and helped the town to apply for the federal program. General Manager for the company, Richard Beville said that they have already started to connect the high-speed internet from the fiber ring to certain businesses. Eventually he said the goal was to connect to homes as well. He said the federal study will help to "plan this out." 

Karen Duffield from the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce said that this is a big opportunity for growth in the community. 

"These days you have to have an infrastructure that will support a fast, efficient broadband type of system," she said. "And without it, small communities are going to fall by the wayside."

The town is primarily focusing on Market Street, between the circle and the Georgetown Little League parks, and North Race Street. 

The other selected communities are as follows:

- Leon, Iowa

- Montrose, Colo. 

- Toledo, Wash.

- Tullahoma, Tenn. 

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