Gibson Electric Membership Corporation has been awarded a grant for $703,518 through the State’s Broadband Accessibility Grant Program. This is the third Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grant received by Gibson EMC since 2018.
During the last application period, Gibson EMC applied for two Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Grants on behalf of its membership and one was awarded. The grant, awarded by the State of Tennessee, will help Gibson EMC build a fiber optic network to make high-speed, fiber-based internet service available to parts of Obion County.
“The current COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated just how important high-speed internet access is to our members in rural northwestern Tennessee and western Kentucky,” said Dan Rodamaker, President and CEO of Gibson Electric Membership Corporation and Gibson Connect, the cooperative’s wholly-owned, not-for-profit broadband subsidiary. “We are thankful to Governor Bill Lee, Department of Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bob Rolfe and to our legislators for helping to meet this essential need,” Rodamaker said.
The grant will be used to serve the area west of the town of Obion along and around Highway 183, but Gibson EMC plans to go ahead and build out its fiber-to-the-home network to the entire Obion Zone. To see if your address is within the Obion Zone, visit www.join.gibsonconnect.com and enter your address. If you are eligible for service, you’ll see a Satellite map of your address. Click “Next” and you’ll be provided your zone.
“Gibson EMC plans to start engineering for the buildout in late summer and start building the main line fiber network before the end of 2020,” said Charles Phillips, Gibson EMC VP of Technical Services and Gibson Connect VP of Operations. “Next service drops will be run; then splicing of main line fiber and services drops; and finally, we’ll do the in-home installation,” he explained. “It’s a time-intensive process, but our members who have been connected are extremely happy with their service,” he said.
If you have not already registered for Gibson Connect’s high-speed, fiber-based internet service, you can do so through the join.gibsonconnect.com site or by calling 731-562-6000.
“We encourage everyone to register,” said Phillips. “For members in the Obion Zone, registrations will help us plan our buildout and ensure members receive their internet, phone and TV service as quickly as possible.”
Registration is just $20 and will apply toward a member’s first Gibson Connect bill when service is received. For areas that are not grant funded, Gibson EMC members are driving the order of our buildout. Registering will help your zone reach its participation requirement and move your area up in the build order. Ultimately, Gibson EMC hopes to provide high-speed internet access to all of its eligible members.