Gov. Kemp Applauds Satilla REMC and Conexon Connect for Expanding Broadband in South Georgia
Atlanta, GA – Recently Governor Brian P. Kemp applauded Satilla Rural Electric Membership Corporation (SREMC) and Conexon Connect for partnering to ensure more than 57,000 south Georgia rural homes and businesses will have access to reliable and affordable high-speed fiber broadband service.
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 four to five years, with service available to some members as soon as the first quarter of 2022.
“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 Governor Kemp. “I applaud Satilla REMC and Conexon Connect for investing in the lives of south Georgians by ensuring they have access to reliable, high-speed internet. I’m proud to see more and more EMCs and community leaders working together to close the digital divide in the Peach State.”
The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical Gigabit internet service – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and improved power outage response times, better load balancing, and more efficient electricity delivery.
“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 that important work.”
“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.”
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 today’s news, other EMC partnerships and projects were announced recently by Amicalola EMC, Carroll EMC, Central Georgia EMC, Colquitt EMC, Diverse Power, Middle Georgia EMC, Southern Rivers Energy, Tri-County EMC, and Washington EMC, resulting in expanded access for approximately 160,000 Georgia homes and businesses.
Satilla REMC members interested in internet service are encouraged to visit the cooperative’s website or Facebook page to learn more about buildout schedules, pricing plans and to submit questions regarding the announcement.