Georgia’s Ocmulgee EMC Partners with Internet Service Provider Conexon Connect to Bring World-Class Broadband to Rural Areas Throughout Middle Georgia
Conexon Connect, the internet service provider formed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, has been selected by Ocmulgee EMC to deliver high-speed fiber internet access for rural Georgians within the cooperative’s service territory.
The cooperative is partnering with Connect to launch and deploy a fiber-to-the-home network that could span up to 2,100 miles across its middle Georgia territory. The project marks the eighth partnership Conexon Connect has announced within the state.
The Connect, powered by Ocmulgee EMC, network will deliver world-class fiber broadband services to homes and businesses across Laurens, Bleckley, Dodge, Pulaski, and Telfair counties. The goal is to ultimately expand fiber broadband access to all of Ocmulgee EMC’s 8,000+ members, if possible.
“As with our other Georgia partnerships, this project reflects our ongoing commitment to bring the many benefits of high-speed internet to unserved and underserved residents and communities,” Conexon Founding Partner and Conexon Connect CEO, Randy Klindt said. “It’s a commitment that W H Peacock and the Ocmulgee team share, and we are excited to work together to improve the lives and prospects of the cooperative’s members.”
Construction will begin in 2022, with the first members expected to be connected in early 2023. The project will take two-to-four years to complete and will cost at least $40 million.
The Connect, powered by Ocmulgee EMC, fiber network will offer members access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and more.
“We are extremely pleased to partner with Conexon Connect to bring high-speed internet to Ocmulgee members. Our rural areas and communities have long waited for this kind of service,” Ocmulgee EMC General Manager W H Peacock said, “and we are excited to bring them the economic, educational and other advantages broadband offers.”
Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives committed to serving their members with fiber broadband. With clients and partners, Conexon has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber, builds more than 50,000 miles of fiber annually, and has connected more than 500,000 rural Americans to fiber to the home.
“One year ago, Conexon started constructing our first Connect project in Georgia. By the fall, we had launched the first 2 Gigabit service in rural Georgia,” Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. “With the addition of the Ocmulgee EMC fiber network, Conexon will be building 200 miles a week in the state, making service available to previously unserved rural Georgia at a pace of 1,000 to 2,000 homes a week.
“I know there are others building in Georgia, but there’s a difference between these Connect projects and nearly all the others. These networks are owned by the people we serve. The funding support provided by the state is money that goes back to the people who live here. I expect the Ocmulgee EMC network, like the other EMC projects, will become a model for the rest of the state and the nation.”
About Ocmulgee EMC
Ocmulgee EMC was founded in 1938 in middle Georgia. From the moment the first members were connected, Ocmulgee has upheld the promise to bring connection to rural areas of its community. Ocmulgee EMC has made it possible for rural families within its service territory to enjoy a higher standard of living by following the same vision and motivation of the founders who brought electricity more than 80 years ago. Today, Ocmulgee EMC has more than 8,000 members and has energized more than 2,100 miles of power lines. The lines span over Laurens, Bleckley, Dodge, Pulaski, and Telfair counties.
About Conexon Connect
Conexon Connect is the internet service provider (ISP) arm of rural fiber broadband design and construction management leader Conexon. The subsidiary was formed to operate and manage cooperative fiber-to-the-home networks. Connect leverages Conexon’s decades of co-op operations, fiber-optic design and construction, telecommunications, federal and state lobbying and customer experience management expertise to successfully launch and operate projects. The Connect approach is to work with electric cooperatives to launch and deploy high-speed fiber-optic networks – the gold standard of communications transmission – enabling them to offer world-class fiber broadband to their members. Connect today is partnering with multiple cooperatives in Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Missouri.
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is comprised of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and the telecommunications industry, and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marketing and selling telecommunications. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project’s conception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. It works with clients to analyze economic feasibility, secure financing, design the network, manage construction, provide operational support, optimize business performance and determine optimal partnerships. To date, Conexon has assisted more than 250 electric cooperatives, 60 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 500,000 rural Americans connected to fiber to the home. The company has secured nearly $2 billion in federal, state and local grants and subsidies for its clients.