Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 12

Currents

News from Georgia's electric co-ops * Compiled by Amy Schneider

More than electricity

COURTESY AMICALOLA EMC

Some Georgia EMCs branching out

From left, Jason Smith, chief operating officer of Ellijay Telephone Co., and Todd Payne,
president and CEO of Amicalola EMC, announce their broadband-expansion partnership.

G

eorgia's electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) all provide
their members with reliable, safe electricity, but several recently
expanded the types of services they offer.
Amicalola EMC in Jasper announced on Oct. 28 that it had formed
a partnership with Ellijay Telephone Co. (ETC) to bring greater broadband access into North Georgia. The project will include portions of
Cherokee, Dawson, Gilmer, Lumpkin and Pickens
counties.
The initial
" It is a win-win for our members, " said Todd
capital investment Payne, president and CEO of Amicalola EMC. " We
know that a lack of adequate internet access places a
of almost
hardship on rural areas. We are excited about work$20 million will be
ing with ETC to help bridge that broadband divide,
while at the same time improving reliability to our
used to deploy
members. "
fiber-optic networks
Carroll EMC in Carrollton partnered with
Bremen-based
SyncGlobal Telecom to expand
and broadbandbroadband availability in its service area. The initial
speed internet.
capital investment of almost $20 million includes a
$12.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Broadband ReConnect Program and will be used to
deploy fiber-optic networks and broadband-speed internet.
The partnership was announced at a kickoff celebration on
June 25 at which attendees included U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny
Perdue, Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Gary
Black, SyncGlobal CEO Kyle Williams and Carroll EMC President/

12

Georgia Magazine

February 2021

CEO Tim Martin.
" In 2015, they [Carroll EMC board
of directors] tasked me with finding a
way to get broadband to our members
and into rural western Georgia, " Martin
said. " They recognized the need and
said we have to find some way to help
with this.
" We believe this project is
going to be a springboard for future
projects for western Georgia and a
model for this state and around this
country. "
Other EMCs also recently
marked milestones in ventures
beyond electricity.
* Habersham EMC, based in Clarkesville, recently celebrated achieving
its 5,000th customer for its Trailwave
Fiber subsidiary that provides internet service. The milestone customer,
Claudette Forrester, received a
certificate as well as three months of
free service and $10 off each month's
service charge for a year.
* Central Georgia EMC in Jackson
introduced Fuel Georgia, its venture
into the natural gas industry, at a
ribbon-cutting and signage-reveal
event on July 27. The subsidiary will
provide natural gas not only to EMC
members in the service area but also
to customers statewide.
* Cobb EMC in Marietta introduced
a wholly owned subsidiary called
Fiber South that began providing
high-speed internet and telephone
service through the co-op's smartgrid fiber network to commercial
customers on Oct. 1. Cobb EMC
already offers natural gas to customers through its subsidiary Gas South.
* Colquitt EMC in Moultrie has
partnered with Windstream to
offer broadband service in
Colquitt County.



Georgia Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - February 2021

Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 4
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 5
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 6
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 7
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 8
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 9
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - 10
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Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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