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22 March 2014

5 Northeast Georgia Counties Become the State's First Gigabyte Communities

Imagine this.

Internet browsing speeds at 1GB per second. Seems like a fantasy, doesn't it?

For five northeast Georgia counties, the fantasy becomes a reality.

Habersham EMC, a non-profit, member-owned cooperative serving Northeast Georgia, is increasing residential internet service speed to 1 gigabit per second, adding Habersham, White, Rabun and some rural parts of Stephens and Hall counties to the nation's list of gigabit communities.

The new gigabyte internet service, provided by Trailwave.com, is the first of its kind in the state of Georgia. The Trailwave gigabit service is $99/month and provides access to speeds up to 500 times faster than the 1-3Mbps service offered to residents by other providers.

"A cooperative is based on the idea of working every day for the good of our members," says Todd Pealock, CEO of Habersham EMC, "so it's simple: we want to bring the fastest, most abundant connectivity to our members."

As a gigabit hub, Northeast Georgia can reach a broader list of business prospects, as well as support home-based remote workers and startups.

"While the network is benefiting the co-op and its members by enabling advanced electric grid communications, we also recognize it is a part of the complete infrastructure package we bring to both recruitment and internal economic development efforts," said Pealock, "we can compete with the best broadband communities anywhere in the country."

The fiber-to-the-home (ftth) network is actively servicing approximately 1,800 customers, who could upgrade to gigabit service with only a phone call. Habersham EMC intends to expand fiber service to all 25,000 homes based solely on customer demand.