ST. LOUIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aug. 29, 2001--
Georgia city providing universal access to Internet technology
awarded $20,000 grant, eligible for $100,000 prize
LaGrange, Georgia, is being recognized for its efforts to ensure that all residents have access to state-of-the-art telecommunications technology. Today the city receives a $20,000 grant and national recognition as one of 15 finalists in Harvard University's Innovations in American Government Awards program.
In an effort to bridge the digital divide, the city developed a unique public/private partnership with Charter Communications, the fourth largest cable company in the United States. LaGrange purchased the usable assets in Charter's existing cable plant and rebuilt the system to a state-of-the-art, two-way, 750 MHz, hybrid fiber coaxial network. The city then leased 80 percent of the network back to Charter to provide video entertainment services, while retaining the rights in partnership with Charter to the remaining broadband capacity to provide an array of exciting services.
LaGrange is the first city in the United States to provide free Internet access to all cable television households in its jurisdiction. To access the Internet, LaGrange citizens simply turn on their cable television and type on a wireless keyboard provided with the service.
"All our residents are offered free Internet access. Early investment in our fiber optic, broadband and telecommunications infrastructure has also been an investment in our citizens and in the future of our students and workforce," said W. Jeffrey Lukken, mayor of LaGrange. "Through web-based learning, job-skills training, e-commerce, and community dialogue platforms, we are bridging the digital divide and ensuring that no one in our community is left behind."
About the Innovations Award
Celebrating its 15th anniversary, the Innovations in American Government Awards focus on the quality and responsiveness of American government at all levels and help foster the replication of innovative approaches to meeting the challenges facing government.
"The LaGrange Internet TV Initiative ensures that all LaGrange citizens have equal access to the Information Super Highway. It's a powerful way of saying that the local government cares about its citizens," said Gail Christopher, Executive Director of the Innovations in American Government Award. "By publicizing forward-thinking programs like this one, the Innovations in American Government Award program increases the likelihood that other municipalities will choose to provide similar benefits to their citizens."
The awards - a program of the Institute for Government Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government - are administered in partnership with the Council for Excellence in Government. The Program was founded by the Ford Foundation to identify and promote excellence and creativity in the public sector through its annual awards competition. The National Selection Committee on Innovations in American Government will select five winning programs after a full day of presentations on October 17, 2001 in Washington, DC. Winners will be announced the following day, and each will receive a $100,000 Award.
About the Innovations Partners
The Institute for Government Innovation, established through an endowment from the Ford Foundation, strives to foster excellence in governments throughout the world. It houses the Innovations in American Government Awards Program and serves as a global hub for public-sector innovators through networks, conferences, and research.
The Council for Excellence in Government is a national, nonprofit and nonpartisan organization whose 750 members have served as senior public sector Officials. The Council's mission is to improve the performance of government by strengthening results-oriented management and creative leadership in the public sector, and build understanding in government by focusing public discussion on its role and responsibilities.
For more information on the Innovations in American Government program and the finalists in this year's competition, please visit the Innovations home page at www.innovations.harvard.edu.
About Charter Communications
With nearly 7 million customers in 40 states, Charter Communications, a Wired World Company(TM), is among the nation's largest broadband communications companies. Charter provides a full range of advanced broadband services to the home, including cable television on an advanced digital video programming platform, marketed under the Charter Digital Cable(TM) brand; and high-speed Internet access marketed under the Charter Pipeline(TM) brand. Commercial high-speed data, video and Internet solutions are provided under the Charter Business Networks(TM) brand. Advertising sales and production services are sold under the Charter Media(TM) brand. More information about Charter can be found at www.charter.com.
|Charter Communications, St. Louis
|Deb Seidel, 314/543-5703
|For LaGrange, GA
|JoAnne Donner, 770/399-6626