Rural broadband: Electric co-ops score $186 million

Aug. 29, 2018
Conexon, a company that works with electric membership cooperatives to bring fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to rural communities, announced ...

Conexon, a company that works with electric membership cooperatives to bring fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to rural communities, announced that the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium (RECC) is the single largest gigabit winning bidder in the FCC's recent Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II auction. The consortium of member-owned co-ops will be awarded $186 million over a 10-year period to build FTTH networks to more than 66,000 locations across rural America from Virginia to Oregon.

"Co-op members and the communities they serve have waited far too long for services that are available in towns and urban areas across the country," said Randy Klindt, partner at Conexon, which formed and represents the RECC. "Through our participation in this auction, we're demonstrating our willingness to invest in our communities. The nation's electric cooperatives have served their communities with essential services for 80 years and are now stepping up to offer broadband services as well."

In exchange for the support, the RECC members will build fiber networks delivering symmetrical gigabit speeds to residences and small businesses in their service territories.

"The true winners in this are the members of these electric cooperatives and the communities they serve," said Jonathan Chambers, partner at Conexon. "Instead of satellite or fixed wireless at home, the communities will have world-class communications available to every home. Instead of 10 Mbps, the members of these cooperatives will now have gigabit speeds."

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