Satilla REMC to provide rural broadband
More than 57,000 south Georgia rural homes and businesses will have access to reliable, affordable, high-speed fiber broadband service through a new partnership announced today by Satilla Rural Electric Membership Corporation (SREMC) and Conexon Connect.
The Alma-based electric cooperative selected Conexon Connect to launch a world-class 6,000-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to 100 percent of its members. Conexon Connect is the internet service provider created and managed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon. Conexon works exclusively with electric cooperatives and is considered one of the pioneers in the rural electric operative broadband effort.
The $150 million project will reach all Satilla REMC members in Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Brantley, Coffee, Jeff Davis, Pierce, Ware and Wayne counties upon completion. The project is expected to be completed within 4-5 years, with service available to some members as soon as first quarter 2022.
The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical Gigabit internet service (same download and upload speeds) – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enhanced smart grid capabilities to include improved power outrage response times, better load balancing, and more efficient electricity delivery, among other benefits.
“The announcement today will have a significant impact on hard-working Georgians by providing new job opportunities, improved education tools, and access to telemedicine, said Gov. Kemp. “I’m glad to see Satilla REMC and Conexon Connect investing in the lives of south Georgians by ensuring they have access to reliable, high-speed internet. This is yet another great result of Senate Bill 2 which I signed into law in 2019, which authorized EMCs to provide broadband service. The legislation is doing exactly what it was intended to do: encourage EMCs and community leaders to work together to close the gap on the digital divide in our state.”
“It’s a great day to be a Satilla REMC member,” PSC Commissioner Jason Shaw said. “Rural broadband is a critical issue for Georgia and across the nation. Once again, EMCs have taken a leadership role and offered tangible solutions to provide high-speed internet to unserved areas. This partnership is the latest example of how EMCs are stepping up to serve rural Georgia and further improve the quality of life for their members.
“I’m grateful for Satilla REMC’s investment in broadband that will expand service over these nine counties in south Georgia,” State Senator Tyler Harper said. “The State Senate has made rural broadband access a top priority and the announcement of this project continues to work toward our goal of closing the digital divide in our state.”
“Today’s announcement and the promise of high-speed internet is a game changer for the homes and businesses in our service area,” Satilla REMC President/CEO Romeo Reyes said. “Our members have waited patiently for access to broadband, now considered an essential service in today’s digital world. It’s vital that rural Georgia remain competitive and offer the same online choices to its residents – whether it’s working and learning from home, running a home-based business, visiting a doctor online or shopping for goods and services.
“With this project, Satilla REMC has taken the first important steps toward bridging the digital divide at last for the thousands of unserved and underserved rural residents in south Georgia,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “Conexon Connect is proud to be a part of that story and a partner in building a world-class fiber network that will change the lives of so many.”
I’m a resident of Brantley County and member of the Okefenoke REMC since 1980. Will access to rural broadband be available to me and others in Brantley County, or only to those served by the Satilla REMC ?
Satilla REMC has joined in a partnership to provide broadband for all its members. Okefenokee REMC members, of course, are not Satilla REMC members. Perhaps contacting your county’s Okefenokee REMC representative and ask him/her to partner with a broadband provider to provide their customers with broadband access will enable you to get that access. Hope you can get results.
YAY! Just wonderful!!