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Georgia’s EMCs offer ‘Georgia solution’
Guest columnist

To promote the deployment of broadband in our state, Georgia’s not-for-profit, member-owned electric membership cooperatives (EMCs) filed their “Georgia Solution” with the Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) recently.

The filing was part of a rate case underway at the PSC that will determine the fee paid by cable companies to attach wires and cables to EMC utility poles. Unlike other pole attachment filings elsewhere in the country that focus simply on rates, the Georgia Solution is a comprehensive, results-oriented approach that offers generous incentives to qualified broadband providers the moment they expand internet service into unserved rural Georgia.

As part of the Georgia Solution, the EMCs “rolled out the red carpet” to cable providers new and old with two generous and unprecedented offers: the “One Buck Deal” and the “Georgia One-Touch-Make-Ready Program.”

The One Buck Deal is a financial incentive offered to any qualified broadband provider that will deliver new high-speed internet service in unserved EMC areas.

The Georgia One-Touch-Make-Ready Program addresses an issue that the cable industry has identified for years as being one of its biggest barriers to broadband deployment.

The program will empower internet providers with the freedom to do simple work to prepare the EMC pole for their attachment without red tape approvals and lengthy delays. For more information, visit Georgia EMC is the statewide trade association representing the state’s 41 electric cooperatives, Oglethorpe Power Corp., Georgia Transmission Corp. and Georgia System Operations Corp.

Collectively, Georgia’s co-ops provide electricity and related services to 4.4 million people, nearly half of Georgia’s population, across 73 percent of the state’s land area, including several thousand residents in Bryan County.

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