Middle Georgia EMC bringing internet to rural areas

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VIENNA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)— Middle Georgia EMC announced plans Tuesday to provide access to reliable, affordable, high-speed fiber broadband service. They selected Conexon Connect, the newly-formed internet service provider created and managed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, to lead the project.

Middle Georgia EMC along with Conexon Connect will deploy a 1,900-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, providing high-speed internet access to 4,800 residents in Dooly, Houston, Macon, Pulaski, Turner, Wilcox and Ben Hill counties. The $36.7 million project will reach 100 percent of the Middle Georgia EMC membership with fiber internet, which is expected within two years. The first customers will be connected as early as the beginning of 2022.

The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical Gigabit internet capabilities (same download and upload speeds) – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and other benefits.

“Middle Georgia EMC and Conexon Connect’s announcement today is going to positively impact the lives of countless hardworking Georgians in some of the most rural agricultural communities in our state. Fiber broadband service opens doors for new business opportunities, additional education resources, telemedicine, and so many other tools that improve everyday quality of life,” said Governor Kemp. “This is another product of Senate Bill 2 which I signed in 2019, giving EMCs the legal ability to provide broadband service. I want to thank Middle Georgia EMC’s leadership for finding a partner to help develop a solution that will serve their entire community.”

In recent years, Georgia’s EMCs have been aggressively pursuing solutions to help expand broadband. Some, like Blue Ridge Mountain EMC and Habersham EMC, have created affiliates and are already providing high-speed service to members and many are exploring or have formed partnerships with broadband providers. In addition to this news, other EMC partnerships and projects were announced recently by Amicalola EMC, Carroll EMC, Central Georgia EMC, Colquitt EMC, Diverse Power, Southern Rivers Energy, Tri-County EMC and Washington EMC, resulting in expanded access for more than 120,000 Georgia homes and businesses.