SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia Public Service Commission Vice Chairman Tim Echols will join Governor Brian Kemp to announce a joint venture that will bring reliable high-speed broadband to customers of the Coastal Electric Cooperative in Liberty, Long and Bryan counties. The announcement will take place at the Bluff Creek Clubhouse on Colonels Island on Tuesday, July 20 at 10 a.m.
In 2019, Senate Bill 2 paved the way for electric membership cooperatives to provide broadband service. The legislation gave the Public Service Commission compliance authority over EMC’s broadband service.
“Reliable broadband access is the modern equivalent of basic telephone service or household electricity, both of which came to rural parts of the country last,” Commissioner Echols said. “This new broadband service will help children complete their homework, will help medical professionals reach their patients and will help small businesses connect to the world.”
This project will include a capital investment of nearly $40 million by Coastal Electric and partner Darien Communications to build a fiber network that will be leased to the cooperative’s broadband affiliate, Coastal Fiber, Inc., to provide retail broadband service, pending regulatory approval. The project will begin immediately with plans to complete phase one in four years, with the first customers connected as early as 2022.