Leon Conner

Leon Conner

South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority

Lee Conner is the founding Chairman and now serves as Executive Director of the South Georgia Regional Information Technology Authority (SGRITA, pronounced S.G. Rita), an independent multi-jurisdictional public authority specifically empowered in 2007 by State law to provide broadband Internet service to Baker, Calhoun, Early, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole and Terrell County in rural southwest Georgia.

SGRITA began in 2005 as an initiative of local farmers, business owners and county officials with the goal to bring broadband Internet service to one of the nation’s poorest rural regions, where nearly 1/3 of the population lives below the poverty line; where our population density is 1/4 the State average; where our school systems (not buildings, whole school systems) relied on 1 to 3Mbps connections; where 97% of our geographic area had access to only dialup Internet.

SGRITA has operated profitably since inception of service by working closely in the beginning with Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute, OneGeorgia Authority and Georgia Technology Authority and others to build consensus among local stakeholders in creating a locally controlled sustainable rural broadband network. Today SGRITA provides broadband Internet, phone and various IT services to business, city/county government and school clients. An early goal achieved is the connectivity speed ranking for all of the educational facilities’ in SGRITA territory has improved to the top 1% in the world. SGRITA is now deploying one of the nation’s first 700 MHz TD-CDMA broadband systems with software defined radios (SDR) that are software upgradeable to Long Term Evolution (LTE) as LTE subscriber units become available, using its network of towers located across over 2,000 square miles of south Georgia.

Lee Conner was born and raised in Arlington, Georgia, received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Georgia State University in Atlanta before returning to his home town to live and work. Mr. Conner also owns Conner Agency Inc, a retail insurance agency with three offices in Georgia and clients throughout the United States. Mr. Conner, a long time Arlington city councilman, is also past-president of the Calhoun County Development Council and now serves as a board member. He is the current Chairman of the Downtown Development Authority of the City of Arlington, serves on the Steering Committee of Early County 2055 as well as the Executive Treasurer of the Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Conner is a member of the Arlington United Methodist Church where he currently serves as Trustee. He has served in many civic clubs and other professional organizations over the years. Mr. Conner is married to Pam Conner, formally of Vestavia Hills, AL and they have a son who attends Early County Schools and a daughter at Georgia Southern University.

Current positions:

  • Executive Director, SGRITA
  • President, Conner Agency Inc
  • Councilman, City of Arlington (15 years)
  • Board member, Calhoun County Development Council
  • Steering Committee, Early County 2055 (NFP economic development entity (www.earlycounty2055.com)
  • Executive Board and Treasurer, Blakely-Early County Chamber of Commerce
  • Trustee, Arlington United Methodist Church

April 8-11, 2019

Renaissance Hotel in Austin, Texas

Photo Gallery

Here's a glance at last year's Summit.

Look who you'll meet at the Summit

  Unique Opportunity to Network with Broadband Systems Operators*
*Includes Telcos - Private, CLECs, ILECs; Cable Operators; Wireless Broadband Operators, Property Managers, Developers, Owners, REITs, Universities, Colleges
  Equipment Manufacturers, Suppliers, Distributors 17%
  Government/Legal 12%
  Consultants, Contractors 10%
  System Installers, Service Providers 8%
  Financial Advisers, Institutions, Investors 3%

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