More broadband options are coming for North Alabama residents. Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corporation announced Friday morning its plans to install more than 3,000 miles of fiber optic cable, bringing high-speed internet service to thousands of customers in Lawrence and Morgan counties.
“This is a very exciting day for the people of this region,” said George Kitchens, chief executive officer at JWEMC. “We are building a world-class broadband network that will create life-changing opportunities in health care, education, economic development and much more.”
The entire project will take approximately five years to complete, but because much of the groundwork has already been completed, the first customers could be online by early 2021.
It’s a tremendous step forward for a portion of the state that continues to be woefully underserved by broadband companies. According to broadbandnow.com’s access map, which tracks providers by geographic location, most of Morgan and Lawrence counties, particularly the areas outside of Decatur, Moulton and Hartselle, are serviced by one or zero providers offering wired internet services.
In a press release about the new service offerings, JWEMC noted that studies show that fiber optic broadband increases property values and improves the quality of life within a community. Their services, which will offer up to 2 gigabits of download speed, has the ability to expand healthcare options and economic development opportunities in both counties, as well as allow for distance learning and more entertainment options.
JWEMC said its packages for the service will begin at $59.99 for the 300 megabit speed, $79.99 for 1 gigabit speed and $99.99 for 2 gigabit speed.