EMCs propose incentives to bring broadband providers to rural Georgia

When it comes to rural broadband, Georgia EMCs have one goal: to help expand high-speed internet in unserved communities while protecting the financial interests of our more than 4 million member-owners.

While the business of the EMCs is to provide safe, affordable, reliable electricity, we are committed to helping bring broadband to Georgia’s unserved rural areas. We recognize that partnering with companies that already offer broadband services will be one of the fastest ways to tackle this issue and move our rural communities forward.

That’s why we’re rolling out the red carpet for internet providers in rural Georgia with two bold incentives:

EMCs offers “One Buck Deal” and “Georgia One-Touch-Make-Ready”

Through the One Buck Deal, EMCs will forego the recovery of a fair share of their costs to own and maintain their utility poles, and charge broadband providers only one dollar, per pole, per year, for five years to attach their wires and cables to the pole as long as those new attachments are made to bring broadband service to unserved rural EMC members.

Unserved areas will be determined using the Georgia Broadband Map, which represents the availability of broadband services to every home and business in the state, and was developed by the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative of the Department of Community Affairs, as a result of 2018 legislation. The state of Georgia defines high-speed internet service as a minimum of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. The One Buck Deal is available to any new broadband attachment by a cable provider on a pole to which they are not already attached.

The Georgia One-Touch-Make-Ready program addresses an issue that the cable industry has identified as one of the biggest barriers to broadband deployment. The program will empower internet providers with the freedom to do simple work to prepare the EMC pole for the attachment without red tape approvals and lengthy delays. Less wait time means greater efficiency, and will result in lower costs for broadband providers.

A win for rural Georgians

With this innovative solution, Georgia can become a national leader, solving the issue of rural broadband without raising the electric rates of EMC members.

We are serious about pursuing every feasible path to expand broadband for rural Georgians and can’t wait to see who will join us.