Few know it, but in this time of crisis, millions of Georgians are relying on Douglas County’s infrastructure to keep our economy going, stay in contact with friends and family, and educate students. Google’s data center, here in our community, is powering the Internet throughout the region as more people work and learn from home, placing high demand on YouTube, Search, Maps, Gmail and the Google Cloud, which connects businesses with their employees and customers.
In a recent blog post, the leader of Google’s technical infrastructure said that during this period when so many are sheltered in place “it’s natural to wonder whether the Google network can handle the load. The short answer is yes.” Our Google data center – set to grow its Douglas footprint even more with an expansion – “handles the load” for the entire region. It’s built to manage peak usage and improves the service we have at home by handling the traffic until it’s handed off to a local internet service provider (ISP). By reducing the load carried by ISPs, our Google data center speeds data delivery for all users, no matter what company’s technology they’re using.
These are scary and uncertain times for all of us. Our internet connectivity plays an important role in our economy in the best of times, and we’re seeing that it is even more vital in these challenging times. In Douglas County, Google is our neighbor, and a continuously strong community partner. In the past, it has sponsored the local Gravity Games, provided technology for our public schools, supported endless community initiatives, and even provided Wi-Fi for the Douglas Connect fixed route buses. Today, it is playing a much more significant role in our community by helping keep our region’s economy running with telemedicine, teleconferencing, remote working, and online ordering at local restaurants and stores.
Those tools are a lifeline for many Georgia small businesses as we all struggle through the economic troubles caused by the coronavirus. That’s why earlier this month, the Douglas County Chamber partnered with Google to host a free virtual workshop for small business owners to learn how to use the online resources that can help them grow their businesses and create jobs. We will continue to support our businesses – large and small – with the support of our friends at Google and the abundance of resources they provide to support the local economy.
Here in Douglas County businesses big and small are coming together to serve one another. That’s how we’ll get through this crisis and get our economy back on its feet as soon as we can.
Sara Ray is CEO of the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce.