JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ga. (WJBF) – U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff came to Jefferson County on Friday to speak to local leaders about a new grant program that will bring better high-speed internet to rural parts of Georgia.

He secured $250 million through the American Rescue Plan for the program.

“When I arrived in the Senate and sat down with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to craft legislation that helps Georgia, high-speed internet was at the top of the list because it’s such a significant issue for communities across the state,” Ossoff said at a press conference.

He said families, small businesses, farms and schools will benefit from the expansion.

“As I heard today from the superintendent, this directly impacts students, teachers, school principals, both access at school and doing schoolwork at home. It directly impacts entrepreneurs and small businesses who rely upon high-speed connectivity for e-commerce. This directly impacts farmers who rely upon internet access,” he said.

Jefferson County is one of the areas receiving the grant.

“Jefferson County is a little behind on that and from a county standpoint,” said Jerry Coalson, the Jefferson County administrator. “We’re trying to catch up and make these improvements, and obviously this announcement today will help a lot in our community.”

According to Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs, 70% of Georgians who lack high speed internet are in rural communities.

“There are about a million Georgian’s who don’t have broadband internet access,” Ossoff said. “This is a historic day in the economic history of the CSRA. Major investments are on their way to help connect homes and businesses in Jefferson County and across the region with high-speed internet access.”

The Georgia Office of Planning and Budget is supposed to distribute the funds soon.

 Ossoff said more funds are on the way because of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

“I expect that late Spring, early Summer there will be major additional announcements of infrastructure upgrades to expand high speed internet access further statewide,” he said.

It’ll be sometime next year before the project is put into motion, Ossoff said, and he is dedicated to ensuring that all Georgia communities have affordable, high-quality broadband.