Drones Pull the Strings That Bring Broadband to Rural Georgia

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Keeping people who live in remote locations connected to technology, can require creative solutions. Thanks to an intrepid fiber-toting drone, the Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Cooperative (BRMEMC) brought broadband to mountainous Georgia, reports TeleCompetitor.com.

Prior to the drone’s arrival, the inaccessible weather station relied on a wireless connection that was adversely affected by bad weather. 

Weather reports from that station are crucial for local travelers.

To reach the outpost, the drone first flew a Kevlar pull-string over the rough terrain.  As a BRMEC representative explained, “Once the initial pull-string was secured (pole-to-pole), the EMC then pulled progressively larger pull-string across the divides and ultimately the fiber cable itself.”

TeleCompetitor notes that the funding for the expanding broadband network is supported by the electric utility side of the business. While the different aspects of the business are tracked and recorded as separate ventures, they are able to share maintenance costs and other operational expenses.

The BRMEMC says it has 8,000 residential users serving 24,000 homes. “As of today, BRMEMC has not yet delivered broadband service to all members, but the co-op continues to diligently work toward that ultimate goal,” the spokesman noted.  Connecting these rural communities allows them to share education resources, medical information, and rescue services.

March 4, 2019

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