Fiber to the Home Pilot Program
In the cooperative spirit of serving the rural areas with electricity in the 1930s, Prince George Electric Cooperative (PGEC) is delivering on providing a high-speed internet solution to the underserved rural communities Prince George, Sussex and Surry Counties.
Providing high-speed internet to rural communities enhances educational opportunities and fosters workforce development which supports economic growth, including home-based businesses. The availability of a secure, reliable and competitively priced internet solution is essential in meeting community needs. In many of the rural areas of PGEC’s service territory, internet service is either not available, unaffordable or not reliable.
Prince George Electric Cooperative’s wholly owned and operated subsidiary, RURALBAND, developed a broadband pilot program and began connecting homes along West Quaker Road in Prince George County in February 2017. This pilot consisted of 49 service locations and would provide the insight for further expansion.
In partnership with Prince George County, the county’s Industrial Development Authority awarded RURALBAND a $1,000,000 inducement grant in June 2017. This grant was to assist with the further development of high-speed access to underserved areas of the county.
RURALBAND identified a true need in the community and building the solution to the void has transformed the Cooperative business model of delivering reliable electricity to include delivering reliable, low-cost internet service to the rural community.