Kemp visits Gray to discuss plans to add high-speed internet in rural areas

GRAY, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) — Governor Brian Kemp visited Gray to announce a partnership with Tri-County EMC to provide high-speed internet in rural areas.

“If you were unable to work from home because of your slow internet, help is on the way,” Greg Mullis said, CEO of Tri-County Go. “If you had to drive your kids to a fire station or to the public library so they can do their homework. Help is on the way. If you want to relocate a business but its no internet there. Help is on the way.”

The message is clear — Tri-County EMC will provide fast-performance internet to nearly 22,000 of its members.

Benefits of high-speed internet in rural communities

Governor Brian Kemp joined the utility company Friday, agreeing to expand and strengthen many industries in rural Georgia. Those industries include: 

  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Economic development

“We thought about it for a long time,” Governor Kemp said. “It takes a lot of planning and a lot of resources, and a lot of collaboration. And I think what we’ve been doing over the last two years. Passing the piece of legislation Senate Bill 2 it was done to set the stage for this.”

Eight Middle Georgia counties will have high-speed internet, including Bibb, Jones, Putnam, Jasper, Morgan, Twiggs, and Wilkinson.

Officials say one benefit — children can go to school and parents can work from home, with no hassle.

“Our employees will be extending that fiber service around 1,600 miles over a two-year period,” Mullis said.

Mullis says by May, they will hang fiber in the air. He hopes by the late Summer the utility company can serve its first customers.

Mullis says Tri-Co-GO will build 20 miles of fiber per week over the next two years. Once operating, he says residents can get internet services for as low as $50.

Governor Kemp says this year’s amended budget has $20 million for items such as high-speed internet in rural areas.

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