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– Fiber South will provide high-speed internet and telephone through Cobb EMC’s existing broadband fiber network –

Cobb EMC today announced a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Fiber South, which will provide high-speed internet and telephone service through the Marietta-based electric cooperative’s existing smartgrid fiber network. Services will be available to commercial customers beginning October 1, 2020.

“For several years, we’ve been strengthening our electric service with fiber optics to leverage smart grid technology, which increases our reliability by improving our automation capabilities and communications between the field and our power control center,” said Peter Heintzelman, President and CEO of Cobb EMC. “Using excess capacity on this smart grid network enables us to expand the services we provide to our members.”

Cobb EMC currently has 220 miles of installed fiber optic cable throughout the cooperative’s five-county service area. This smart grid technology provides Cobb EMC with more automation capabilities, and ultimately increases the reliability of the electric service provided. The smart grid is a major factor in Cobb EMC’s 3rd in the national ranking for reliability. The Georgia legislature passed SB2 in 2019 allowing electric membership cooperatives like Cobb EMC to provide fiber and high-speed internet service to their members.

Fiber broadband internet will be initially offered to Cobb EMC commercial and industrial members and area businesses who seek superior service, better technology and faster speeds with our next generation 100G-capable network, enhancing economic development in the area. There are no current plans to offer fiber-to-the-home to residential members.

“Fiber South will be a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cobb EMC, much like Gas South,” said Paul Gies, Vice President of Fiber Solutions at Cobb EMC. “The two will remain separate organizations with all costs and revenues separated appropriately and Cobb EMC’s board of directors providing oversight to protect Cobb EMC members, employees and financial integrity. Any revenues from Fiber South will be returned to Cobb EMC, who can then return excess
profits to cooperative members.”