Georgia’s Electric Membership Cooperatives (EMCs) represent a vibrant, diverse group of more than 4 million residents and businesses, who, uniquely, are the owners of the 41 not-for-profit co-ops across the state.
The purpose of an EMC is to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity and related services to our member-owners, but we are also committed to improving our communities and the quality of life for our members through economic development. All Georgians need access to high-speed internet to run their businesses and households; educate their children; obtain telehealth services; worship and stay in touch with friends and family. But without access to high-speed internet, most of the state’s rural communities cannot compete in today’s economy.
As leaders in our communities, EMCs want to be part of the solution to expand broadband in Georgia, and we are taking action. In recent years, EMCs have worked closely with state policymakers on a number of changes to Georgia law that help expand broadband in the state. Some EMCs have created affiliates to provide broadband service directly to their members while others have chosen to leverage infrastructure by partnering with an existing provider .
Since 2019, 19 EMCs have made broadband announcements with plans to provide 236,000 EMC members with high-speed internet service in 83 Georgia counties through six affiliates and 13 partnership agreements. In just two years, EMCs have invested more than $680 million to expand broadband in their service areas.