Internet Speeds Set to Increase in Habersham

For Habersham residents that haven’t yet, get ready to see an influx of Windstream vans across the county as the company is upgrading its internet service for businesses and private customers.

On October 22, Windstream plans to hold a launch event on the Clarkesville square at 10 a.m. to announce its new one-gigabyte high-speed internet offering, a culmination of a near four-year project for the company.  A separate launch and ribbon cutting will be held the following day at 11 a.m. at the company’s retail store in Cornelia (beside Walmart).

“Separating the launches by community allows the communities to be a part of that announcement,” says J. Berkshire, President of Georgia Operations for Windstream. “We’ll have a lot of folks there to help us talk about it and educate our customers on what they have access to.”

Berkshire says the company has been offering a 300-megabyte service since upgrading in 2018. Over the past two years, the county has seen significant growth from new residents moving in as well as new businesses opening. The newly-opened entertainment district in Cornelia as well as a controversial proposed development in Baldwin of over 500 homes are just two current examples of the increasing need for faster internet speeds.

“Helping our customers transition from traditional telephony-type services to next-gen is really what this does,” Berkshire says. “It enables them to have more speed and more access to more services.”

Berkshire says the upgrade will essentially provide state-of-the-art technology never seen before that will help businesses promote and expand their offerings.

Residential customers in Habersham County have also experienced an increased need for faster, reliable service since COVID-19 hit in late February and early March. Due to quarantine and social distancing, many people began working remotely and approximately 14% of students in the county opted for virtual learning. Nicole Payne, Regional Marketing Consultant for Windstream, says approximately 16,000 households across Habersham will be eligible for the upgrade.

“This will enable everybody to be able to do the things that they need to do from their home without having to go somewhere. You can take care of your online stuff right there in your house,” Payne says.

The cost of the new service will vary depending on the needs of the customer but Payne described it as “competitive and affordable."

“I have a household of five. I have three kids at home,” Payne says, “and it’s something I personally can easily afford and it’s a great product.”

One that Windstream vans may be delivering to a neighborhood near you soon.