ATLANTA — More than 80,000 homes and businesses in 18 Georgia counties could soon be receiving high-speed internet thanks to a new partnership and large investment.
Gov. Brian Kemp made the announcement with Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Speaker David Ralston Monday.
He said Central Georgia EMC and Southern Rivers Energy will form a partnership with Conexon to provide high-speed internet to people in the following counties: Bibb, Butts, Clayton, Coweta, Crawford, Fayette, Henry, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Pike, Putnam, Spalding, and Upson.
The partnership includes an investment of around $210 million from the involved parties, with Central Georgia EMC contributing the largest stake ($135 million).
Monroe County also committed $1.3 million in local funds to incentivize EMCs to start their project there.
Under the partnership, the EMCs will work with Conexon, a fiber broadband provider, to design and build a 6,890-mile fiber network that will provide internet to those counties within the next four years, starting at early as summer 2021.
The two EMCs will own the fiber and lease excess capacity to Conexon, which has agreed to serve every EMC member with fiber internet. That would give people in those areas up to 1 gigabit per second.