Jackson EMC and TruVista to expand internet access in Jackson, Banks and Madison counties

In a week full of news about broadband expansion in rural Georgia, Jackson EMC and TruVista have added their names to the list. On Thursday, the two companies announced they have entered into an agreement to deliver fiber broadband to 8,000 homes and businesses in Jackson, Banks, and Madison counties. Under the agreement, TruVista will install hundreds of miles of fiber-optic cable in Jackson EMC’s service area.

“This announcement is the latest in a long line of successful partnerships between EMCs across Georgia and private providers to increase internet access for our rural communities,” says Governor Brian Kemp.

In 2019, Georgia lawmakers made these types of partnerships possible when they passed into law Senate Bill 2 authorizing EMCs and their affiliates to provide broadband services. Since then, Kemp says, 19 projects involving EMCs have led to 244,000 Georgians receiving broadband access.

TruVista plans to begin offering broadband service to unserved and underserved Jackson EMC members and expects construction to be completed by the end of 2023.

Broadband service will initially be available to EMC members in Jackson County as part of Truvista’s commitment to the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund requirements, followed by Banks and Madison counties. RDOF is a program run by the Federal Communications Commission that provides grants for rural broadband expansion.

“Access to broadband service is one of the top issues in our community,” says Jackson EMC President and CEO Chip Jakins. “Whether it is students doing their classwork online or small businesses connecting to their customers around the world, broadband access for everyone is an important issue for us to tackle.”

“This partnership between TruVista and Jackson EMC will enable underserved residents of Jackson, Banks, and Madison counties to receive fast, reliable, and always on internet services in a much shorter time frame than would have been anticipated without this agreement,” says TruVista President and CEO Carla French.

TruVista currently offers broadband service to customers in eight South Carolina and Northeast Georgia counties including Stephens, Franklin, Hart, and Rabun.

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