What type of service are you proposing to provide?
We are proposing to install fiber optic lines to the home or business in a manner that Pineland Telephone is providing their customers today in their service area.
- Traditional internet access such as browsing and e-mail
- Replace satellite TV or cable TV service and bills with a subscription to a television streaming service such as SlingTV, DirectTV Now, YouTube Red or Hulu.
- Netflix or Amazon Prime Video
- FaceTime for video chats with friends
- Monitoring home equipment from afar, such as doorbell cameras, other cameras, thermostats or other home automation devices. Why is Altamaha EMC looking at providing this service?
- Internet service provided at 40 MBS or higher
- Dial-tone telephone service
- Security monitoring
- Television Channel Lineup Streaming – by a 3rd party directly to the customer
- Video Content – by 3rd party providers such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video or YouTube.
- Home medical device monitoring – by 3rd party providers directly to the customer How can I help AEMC to get service in our area?
Our market has been underserved by some existing telephone companies, such that the internet speeds are far behind those provided within the cities. This insufficient level of service affects the lives of existing AEMC customers and discourages new customers from locating in the AEMC service area.
What is sufficient service?
For USDA grant purposes, sufficient service is defined as 10 megabits per second (MBS) for download speeds and 1 MBS for upload speeds. Most modern internet providers today provide at least 20 MBS download. We are proposing beginning at 40 MBS for a basic service level with plans going up to 1,000 MBS.
Why does AEMC need a grant to provide this service?
Our intent is to form a subsidiary that is self-sufficient business-wise, so that there is no subsidization of internet service from existing AEMC members. In order to do this, grants are needed to offset the cost of extending fiber optic lines into new areas.
How much will it cost?
This depends on the amount of grants AEMC may receive, but we are expecting that basic service for 40 MBS will not exceed $70 per month. With this level of service, we expect that members can add on a streaming service for TV channels plus a dial-tone telephone line and save significant amounts each month over their existing internet service, Satellite TV service and telephone service.
What services may be provided?
We have to document the deficiency of service in our area to make a case for grants. The most important thing a member can do is complete the survey fully, especially performing the speed test. If you can take a screen shot of the test results’ image and e-mail those to AEMC, that would help as well.
Where will broadband be offered?
AEMC will be applying for grants in eligible areas of the system. The USDA has certain areas, like Treutlen and most of Emanuel Counties, excluded for existing providers that have received USDA assistance in the past and are reported to have broadband service. There are also certain smaller and scattered areas in the remaining counties that have some exclusions.