Author Archives: Mark Bolton

Coastal Fiber, Inc. will deliver broadband to 16,000 members in three counties

Coastal Fiber: An Affiliate of Coastal Electric CooperativeOn Tuesday, July 20th Governor Brian Kemp, Coastal Electric Cooperative, and Darien Communications made a joint announcement of the creation of Coastal Fiber, Inc., an affiliate of Coastal Electric Cooperative.

The new partnership between Coastal Electric Cooperative and Darien Communications will impact 16,000 Coastal Electric customers in 3 counties – Bryan, Liberty, and Long. Coastal Electric customers in McIntosh County will continue to receive their broadband service directly from Darien Communications.

Coastal Electric and Darien Communications will invest $39.5 million over the life of the project.

The partners are presently still in the design phase. Actual construction on the first phase of the project will begin this fall. The aim is to connect the first customers by January 2022 – increasing business opportunities, enriching education, improving access to healthcare, and much more.

Phase one of the project will reach the most unserved and underserved areas of east Liberty County to include Sunbury and Colonels Island. Also included is a portion of Coastal Electric’s service territory in Long County. A map will be available soon, but there are three general areas to be served in the initial project: everything down Island’s Hwy from I-95 to Colonels Island, the Hwy 119 corridor from Riceboro out to Long Reach substation, and the Hwy 17 South corridor from Riceboro to I-95. The second phase will serve customers in Bryan County, many of whom already have a choice of two or three broadband providers.

Eventually, Coastal Electric will bring fiber to every member home that has an electric meter as well as other homes within our geographic territory that receive electricity from other electric companies.

Coastal Electric Cooperative was founded more than 80 years ago as a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative to electrify the unserved areas of rural coastal Georgia. Our core mission then was to provide safe, reliable, and affordable electricity

Today, in addition to providing electricity, Coastal Electric Cooperative has been intently focused on helping find solutions to another challenge for some of our members – expanding reliable, high-speed internet access.

The lack of broadband in the most rural communities within our service territory has been critical for years – exacerbated by COVID-19 and the closure of classrooms and businesses.

Coastal Fiber TruckOperationally, Coastal Fiber will build the fiber lines either overhead or underground in existing rights of way and provide the service drop to the outside of the home. Darien Communications, operating under the Coastal Fiber brand, will provide the in-the-home router, customer service, and billing.

Coastal Fiber chose Darien Communications as our partner because they are a local, family-owned business with a stellar record of customer service. They have built a 1-gigabit fiber network throughout most of the rural areas of McIntosh County. (They still have some pockets of 200 MB broadband over coaxial cable.)

Even if a customer does not choose to be served by Coastal Fiber, the fiber optic cable connection to their home will facilitate connectivity to the next generation of electric meters which will provide increased reliability and an enhanced array of services not currently available; however, construction will be prioritized to those locations that are requesting broadband service.

Electric cooperatives in Georgia have committed to invest more than $580 million in broadband to ensure their members have high-speed internet service.

In total, these projects are set to impact more than 200,000 Georgians in 62 counties in the state.


Will you have to dig up my yard as another provider did?

If your electric service is overhead, then the fiber drop will be overhead.

If your electric service is underground and in conduit, then we’ll push the new fiber service through the conduit, so there won’t be a need to dig up your yard.

Our practice of installing the electric service in conduit started in 2006. If your electric service is underground and direct-buried, then we’re going to have to trench in the fiber service.

What if I am happy with my present broadband provider. Will you still bring the fiber to my electric meter?

If a member does not want broadband from Coastal Fiber, then we’re not going to immediately install the fiber drop to their meter base. We plan to prioritize those requesting service.

Where can we go to see your speed and pricing packages?

We do not yet have information to share about the prices and packages that will be available. As we get closer to being able to accept new broadband customers those details will be announced on


Below are video announcements and interviews with Darien Communications, Coastal Electric’s CEO, Chris Fettes, Governor Brian Kemp, and Tim Echols of the Georgia Public Service Commission.

Coastal Electric accepting applications for work study program

Coastal Electric Cooperative is accepting applications for its Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow summer work study program, which introduces rising high school seniors to career opportunities in the electric cooperative industry. The program is designed to help local students to sharpen their skill sets, gain on-the-job training, network with others and explore their interests – all…Continue Reading

Gaskin named to Coastal Electric Cooperative Board

The Coastal Electric Cooperative Board of Directors has selected Chuck Gaskin of Townsend to serve as a director, replacing William L. “Billy” Bland, who retired in October. The board announced the decision during its monthly meeting April 29.   Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members, who elect representatives from among the membership to…Continue Reading

Coastal Electric Cooperative to refund $2.4 million to members in June

With widespread financial hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coastal Electric Cooperative board made the unprecedented decision to allow the early return of $2.4 million in capital credits beginning June 1 to members who paid their electric bills to the co-op in 2019. The retirement will occur 6 months ahead of schedule…Continue Reading

Coastal Electric Cooperative to explore broadband options after law passes

On Friday, Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation that removes barriers to broadband expansion in rural Georgia and allows electric cooperatives, including Coastal Electric Cooperative, to evaluate how they might contribute to the expansion of broadband services in their respective areas. Sen. Steve Gooch (R-Dahlonega) and Rep. Jay Powell (R-Camilla) championed Senate Bill 2, which gives…Continue Reading

ATTENTION High School Juniors – Apply for our 2019 Summer Work Study Program

The Learners Today, Leaders Tomorrow program at Coastal Electric Cooperative introduces rising high school seniors to career opportunities in the electric cooperative industry. This summer work-study program is a valuable opportunity for students seeking on-the-job training to sharpen their existing skill set while earning a salary. The program is designed to offer participants an opportunity…Continue Reading

Job Opportunity for Apprentice Line Technician

Coastal Electric Cooperative is seeking applicants for an Apprentice Line Technician III. The deadline to apply is March 29, 2019. An Apprentice Line Technician III is responsible for performing line construction and maintenance under the direction of a journeyman-rated line technician. Duties include: Learn basics of overhead and URD construction and become familiar with RUS…Continue Reading
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