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Federal funds to help bring broadband to Emanuel County

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Published: Aug. 11, 2021 at 3:49 PM EDT
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SWAINSBORO, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A portion of the CSRA will benefit from a federal plan to help bring broadband internet service to rural areas.

In Emanuel County and elsewhere in its service area, Altamaha Electric Membership Corp. will use a $10.6 million loan and a $10.6 million grant to deploy a fiber-to-the-premises network.

The funded service area in parts of Montgomery, Laurens, Emanuel, Tattnall, Toombs and Treutlen counties includes 6,665 households, 18,789 people, 25 educational facilities, 17 essential community facilities, 10 health care facilities, 573 businesses and 207 farms spread over 246 square miles.

The money is part of $167 million being sent to 12 states through the program funded by the $550 million Congress allocated to the second round of the ReConnect Program as well as other funds made available for the program since 2018.

“Generations ago, the federal government recognized that without affordable access to electricity, Americans couldn’t fully participate in modern society and the modern economy. Broadband internet is the new electricity,” Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Wednesday in announcing the funds. “It is necessary for Americans to do their jobs, to participate equally in school learning and health care, and to stay connected.”

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