ADTRAN, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN) has revealed that it is supplying its Total Access 5000 platform to several electric cooperatives to support PON-based gigabit broadband services delivery to rural areas of Tennessee and northern Alabama. Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative (MLEC), North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC), and Tombigbee Electric Cooperative will use the systems, with the help of engineering services from FiberRise, to deliver gigabit broadband to their memberships and, in some cases, surrounding communities.
Representatives of each co-op addressed attendees of the ADTRAN Connect media and analyst event on August 22 in a panel moderated by outgoing Fiber Broadband Association President Heather Burnett Gold. The panelists were unanimous in their belief that their companies offered the best chance their respective memberships have of gaining access to high-speed broadband. More than one panelist offered the opinion that the provision of such services fit well with their overall mission of community service. Several also saw the construction of a fiber broadband network as a springboard to smart grid capabilities that would improve the provision of electrical services.
“We’ve been implementing fiber in our community for some time now, having realized long ago that the only way our members would get access to the highest quality broadband available is for us to deliver it—working with dependable partners like ADTRAN and FiberRise,” NAEC General Manger Bruce Purdy said along these lines via a subsequent ADTRAN press release. “We know how key fiber broadband is to the economic development of our community. It’s our aim to ensure affordable access to gig service for our members that wish to have it.”
“For electric cooperatives, the community always comes first, and these utility operators are proof that where there is a will, there is a way to extend the range and reach of broadband services within any community in a cost-effective way,” added ADTRAN Vice President of Regional Service Provider Sales Brian Efimetz. “We see the utilities space as a growing opportunity for our solutions and services and look forward to continued work with FiberRise in this market.”
Interestingly, several of the panelists said that they were focused on voice and Internet services, leaving video out of the mix. One panelist who had embarked on triple-play service provision added that, in hindsight, he wishes he had opted not to provide video as well. The rapidly escalating cost of acquiring video programming and the number of service calls related to video were two factors the panelists cited in their service mix decisions.
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