Blue Ridge Mountain Electric Membership Corporation (BRMEMC) joined NGN in 2009, as one of the founding members of the network. Together, BRMEMC and Habersham EMC combined their utility resources and management expertise to support the creation of NGN and its application for grant funding.
BRMEMC was founded in 1937 to provide dependable electric service at a reasonable price in Cherokee and Clay counties in Western North Carolina, as well as Fannin, Towns and Union counties in North Georgia. Since then, BRMEMC has maintained some of the lowest utility rates in the Southeast, while upholding the highest quality standards for an electric utility company.
BRMEMC provides electric service and other value-added services to its member-customers, including broadband (a service it has offered since 2002) to approximately 5,700 members. The cooperative also partners with Americas Center Corp. to offer digital television services and is now partnered with ETC to provide telephone services over its fiber-optic network, making BRMEMC a “triple-play” provider of fiber-optic services.
“NGN appreciates the faith and investment that partners like Blue Ridge Mountain EMC have put into our efforts,” says Paul Belk, NGN’s President and CEO. “We are proud to be able to enhance BRMEMC’s offerings via our fiber-optic network and look forward to continued success as partners.”
“As a member-owner of the North Georgia Network Cooperative and by employing the advanced fiber-optic network managed by NGN, the member-customers of Blue Ridge Mountain EMC have received amazing benefits and return-on-investment,” says Daniel Frizzell, Director of Broadband Services at Blue Ridge Mountain EMC. “Not only has BRMEMC been able to purchase Internet bandwidth at a fraction of the cost paid prior to the existence of this network, but the reliability of this bandwidth has improved exponentially.”
BRMEMC provides economic development assistance through responsible development of its existing industries and recruitment of new industries by working with various local agency partners within its service area. BRMEMC believes in investing in the local community and holds local job creation as a top priority.
“This affordable and reliable broadband service has positively impacted healthcare, education, housing, and economic development concerns,” Frizzell continued. “The network has provided our communities with the ability to support and attract new jobs and capital investment, attract new and existing homebuyers, improve distance learning opportunities for our local students, and expand local healthcare offerings and medical specialties. We feel fortunate to have played a part in development of this next-generation network and look forward to a brighter future for our region as a result of our efforts.”