Comcast, Charter win big as Georgia awards $234M for broadband expansion

U.S. cable operators Comcast and Charter Communications came out on top as the state of Georgia awarded more than $234 million to expand broadband to nearly 76,700 un- and underserved locations.

The grants span 28 counties, with the largest single award of $18.4 million covering Madison County. A total of 12 service providers received funding, with Windstream and Mediacom winning big alongside Comcast and Charter.

Comcast’s haul came to $67 million to connect 27,850 locations across eight counties. Charter snagged $49.5 million to reach more than 18,800 locations across five counties. Windstream’s tally came in at $34.9 million to cover 4,509 locations and Mediacom got $28.4 million to build to 8,260 locations. Other winners included Cox Communications ($8.1 million for 1,196 locations) and a handful of electric cooperatives.

Money for the grants came from Georgia’s portion of the American Rescue Plan Act's $10 billion Capital Projects Fund, which was designed to facilitate grants for critical infrastructure projects. Factoring in matching funds from grant awardees, state officials said they expect the total investment from this week’s award round will be $455 million.

The current round of awards builds on the $408 million in broadband grants Georgia dished out in February 2022. Windstream was the big winner then, taking home $171 million, though Charter bagged $12.2 million.

Most major operators have now snagged at least a small amount of grant funding, but Charter has been on a winning streak. According to Fierce’s informal tally, the operator bagged more than $334 million in state grant awards in 2022, beating Comcast (over $127.7 million), Windstream (over $202 million), Altice USA ($44 million) and AT&T (at least $33 million).