French Broad EMC Named as Winner of Inaugural “Community Strong” Grant for Exemplary Work in North Carolina and Tennessee


MEMPHIS, TN – November 07, 2019 – Representatives of rural cooperatives and municipal utilities from across North America gathered in Memphis this week for an annual user conference hosted by Tantalus, a purpose-driven company that focuses exclusively on this critical market segment, to discuss their unique challenges, celebrate shared successes and explore smart grid and AMI solutions that help keep their local communities thriving.

This year also marks the 30th anniversary of Tantalus, who partners closely with cooperative and municipal utilities to ensure that people living in communities of all kinds have access to safe, consistent and reliable energy and that they have the autonomy to shape their own energy futures amidst a time of great change.

The company’s purpose-built communications technology is specifically designed to meet the unique challenges of this critical market segment. Tantalus enables electric, gas and water utilities to optimize their resources by automating, monitoring and controlling processes, improving operational efficiency and delivering the information utilities and consumers need to manage energy intelligently and cost-effectively.

At its annual users conference in Memphis earlier this week, Tantalus also launched its “Community Strong” grant program that gifts $5,000 to the utility demonstrating the most effective community/social responsibility initiative consistent with the company’s larger purpose of engaging and delivering critical support to small and rural communities. This year, the inaugural winner was French Broad EMC for its exemplary work in Western North Carolina and Tennessee.

French Broad EMC is a North Carolina based cooperative that supplies electricity and high-speed internet services to 38,500 members in Madison, Buncombe, Yancey, and Mitchell counties in North Carolina and Unicoi and Cocke counties in Tennessee. FBEMC received Tantalus’ inaugural Community Strong award in part for delivering a fiber-to-the-home solution capable of providing broadband access to communities that otherwise would not have had high speed internet access.

“What French Broad EMC is doing for their community is a brilliant example of how local utilities directly contribute to the vitality of their communities and the people they serve,” said Tantalus CEO Peter Londa. “We had several highly compelling award applicants from which to choose, but FBEMC’s work to deliver broadband access in challenging terrain truly inspired us. Their efforts couldn’t be more aligned with our own mission of helping local communities of all sizes stay in control of their own future, and we’re delighted to honor their work with our inaugural Community Strong award.”

Thanks in part to French Broad EMC, students in the communities served by the utility have access to vital information and online education resources while the communities have a better chance of supporting and attracting local businesses.

“Winning awards isn’t why we do what we do, but it’s still a wonderful recognition of all the hard work our team put into our broadband fiber initiative,” said French Broad EMC General Manager Jeff Loven. “We’ve been a Tantalus customer for more than 15 years. As we were preparing to deploy fiber to the home in our community and upgrade our AMI system, we took a hard look at other vendors and determined that Tantalus’ technology and unwavering commitment to electric cooperative utilities, like FBEMC, made them the best partner for what we are working to accomplish and we’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish together.”

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About Tantalus
Tantalus is a purpose-driven smart grid and AMI solutions provider that focuses exclusively on serving public power and electric cooperative utilities across North America for more than 30 years. The company’s award-winning TUNet solution is an end-to-end communications platform that utilizes IP-based networks including fiber, WiMAX and cellular as well as 220 & 900 MHz wireless radio frequency. TUNet is designed and built for the smart grid and unites utility applications through distributed, Linux-based edge computing capability at every endpoint.


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