The big-money projects headed Georgia’s way pose a new challenge for a state that has only budgeted a small fraction of its homegrown taxpayer dollars for broadband expansion, compared to the federal trove available now. Advocates say state and local officials need to watch where the new federal-funded internet lines roll out so that provider companies don’t double up service, leaving residents in some areas with fast internet while their neighbors go without.

Doubling-up service has happened in many places where federal funds have gone toward broadband construction, including among some Georgia companies that nabbed part of roughly $326 million from the FCC in recent years. The FCC sent letters to dozens of fund recipients across the U.S. this past summer notifying that their projects may overlap with already-served areas, raising “significant concerns about wasteful spending, such as parking lots and international airports.”

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