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April 15--  The Georgia General Assembly passed legislation allowing Electric Membership Cooperatives in the state to offer improved internet delivery to citizens who live in rural areas.

State Senator Blake Tillery of Vidalia says the "Broadband" legislation will do for the internet what the EMC's did for electricity, "It's just as important to our homes and our citizens now as electricity was in the 30's, 40's and 50's.  The EMC's did a great job of getting that last mile of service out there and I'm looking forward to seeing them now."

Tammy Vaughn of the Altamaha EMC in Lyons says they are planning a customer survey to determine the need, "In the coming months we're going to survey all of our members to see if they have adequate broadband service and get a feel for what's going on and what the needs are in our area."

At the same time, Altamaha is looking for funding and partners, "We are in the process of applying for some grant funds that may be used to help us with rural broadband in our area.  We are also in discussion with Pineland Telephone.  We are working on an agreement with them. a potential partnership, that we might could come together to bring broadband to our area.  However, the grant is not a definite and the agreement with Pineland is not a definite either, it's just something that is in the works," Vaughn said.

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