On the journey to bring broadband availability to every Tri-County EMC member, several milestones were reached in May 2023. With over 1,300 miles of fiber built and twenty-one of thirty zones now lit, over 14,400 of the cooperative’s 22,900 electric meters now have service availability at gigabit speed. Mainline construction should be completed by early summer with service available to almost every one of the cooperative’s service locations
in the fall.
“We’re pleased with the progress we’ve made,” said Ray Grinberg, Chief Executive Officer of Tri-County EMC. “We made a commitment to our members and to the community to bring world-class broadband to everyone, and that journey is nearing completion. In doing so, we’ve impacted a lot of lives. We’ve increased quality of life, brought the ability to work or learn from home, increased property values, encouraged economic development, and also moved the local internet market.”
Tri-CoGo, the cooperative’s internet affiliate, now has over 4,000 connected internet customers. Each month, Tri-CoGo installs over two hundred new services in homes and businesses throughout the twenty-one areas where service is currently available. According to Greg Mullis, Chief Operating Officer for Tri-CoGo, “It’s not ‘do I want it?’ It’s ‘when can I get it?’. We have been able to deliver on our promise of broadband for all members at a very high level of technology and customer service.”
“It’s truly amazing to hear stories of residents who have never been able to work from home, complete schoolwork, or stream a game before getting Tri-CoGo’s fiber,” says Marketing Coordinator Christopher Jackson. “Reliable internet will continue to make a positive impact in our communities for the years to come.
In customer surveys, over 97% of Tri-CoGo customers have said they would recommend the service to friends or associates. Over 98% said their Tri-CoGo service is better than the service from their previous provider. “We deliver a better internet experience,” says Joe Lightsey, Fiber Operations Manager for Tri-CoGo. “The combination of an all-fiber network coupled with our state-of-the-art home routers and extenders brings an all-new level of reliability and performance.”
In addition to service availability, affordability is also of concern. “We’re committed to stable pricing, with no gimmicks and no surprises,” commented Mullis. “But we also want to ensure affordability for every household. That’s why we elected to participate in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP), providing qualifying households with a $30 per month benefit to assist with internet costs.”
As the mainline fiber construction portion of the project nears completion, Tri-CoGo employees will continue to quickly work to answer the demand to connect new households and businesses.