Blue Ridge Mountain EMC (BRMEMC) was recently awarded $1.3 million in funding through the Growing Rural Economies with Access to Technology (GREAT) Grant program as part of Gov. Roy Cooper’s $30 million initiative to expand internet access to rural areas. BRMEMC officially signed the grant agreement on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
Funds from this grant will be used to expand BRMEMC’s fiber optic network in the Pine Log area of Clay County in North Carolina. This includes Pine Log Road, Pine Log Church Road, Greasy Creek Road, Trout Cove Road, Beach Cove Road, a portion of Old Hwy 64 and additional secondary roads within the surrounding area. At project completion approximately 600 residents will have access to BRMEMC’s fiber optic internet service.
According to the grant agreement this project must be completed within two years. BRMEMC will begin the planning and design of the project on Feb. 1 and the build out will begin a few months later. The project will be done in phases so that residents can sign up for service as portions of the project gets completed.
“We are very excited to be awarded funding through the GREAT Grant program to get broadband to an underserved area like Pine Log. This will help us to continue closing the gap in our fiber optic network and get folks in our service territory the reliable high-speed internet service they need,” said Manager of Broadband Services Alex King.
BRMEMC did apply for a large area in Cherokee County, North Carolina, but did not receive grant funding for that area.
In 2020, BRMEMC completed 18 broadband expansion projects throughout its service territory in Georgia and North Carolina; and now serves over 10,000 broadband customers. These expansions brought the Co-op’s fiber network to 1,600 miles of fiber lines. For more on Blue Ridge Mountain EMC, visit brmemc.com or follow BRMEMC on social media.
About Blue Ridge Mountain EMC
Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation is a member-owned electric cooperative headquartered in Young Harris, Georgia, serving nearly 47,000 members in Cherokee and Clay Counties in Western North Carolina, and Towns, Union and Fannin Counties in Northeast Georgia. Organized locally in 1937, BRMEMC has invested well over $280 million in physical infrastructure in its mission to provide reliable electric and broadband services to its members where those services would not otherwise have been available. Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation is an equal opportunity provider, employer and lender. ###