KANSAS CITY – Conexon, the nation’s leader in assisting electric cooperatives to deploy broadband networks, has been selected by the Monroe County Electric Power Association to deliver comprehensive broadband management services, including network design and engineering, construction management and customer support for the association’s fiber-to-the-home network.
Monroe County EPA will begin construction on the network by the fourth quarter of 2020, with the first customers expected to be connected by early 2021. The four-year build-out will span 1,500 miles of fiber, serve 100 percent of the power’s association’s 10,800 members and is anticipated to cost in the range of $29 million.
“Monroe County EPA Board of Directors member Tom Crook once told me about his grandfather’s role in establishing Monroe County EPA, which was the first REA (now RUS) electric co-op in the county,” Conexon partner Jonathan Chambers said. “There’s a wonderful continuity with the board’s decision to build a fiber-optic network. Monroe County EPA has sustained the community with electricity for over 80 years. It will now bring that same commitment to service and provide both electricity and broadband to the community for the next 80 years. I appreciate the trust [Monroe County EPA General Manager] Barry [Rowland] and the board have placed in Conexon. We take that trust seriously and look forward to a great success.”
Monroe County EPA has formed a broadband subsidiary, M-Pulse Fiber, through which members will have access to a state-of-the-art network that will deliver symmetrical gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and robust in the nation. The all-fiber network will also enable enhancements and smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure such as improved power outage response times, better load balancing and more efficient electricity delivery.
“We are excited about the opportunity of bringing world-class broadband services to our membership,” Rowland said. “It’s important for us to offer the best service possible for our members, and that’s a goal Conexon shares. From the first meeting, we immediately felt comfortable with the depth of their experience and expertise and ability to help us successfully deliver this.”
Conexon partner Randy Klint congratulated Monroe County EPA for taking this bold step to deliver a fiber network with world-class broadband to its members.
“It’s very gratifying for us to team with co-ops like this one to pave the way for community and economic growth, education advantages and all of the other benefits that reliable broadband brings,” he said.
Conexon works with rural electric cooperatives to bring fiber-to-home service in rural communities. The company is comprised of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and the telecommunications industry and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marking and selling telecommunications.
Conexon offers its first electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from project conception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. It works with clients to analyze economic feasibility, secure financing, design the network, manage construction, provide operational support, optimize business performance and determine optimal partnerships.
To date, Conexon has assisted more than 150 electric cooperatives, 37 of which are deploying fiber networks, with nearly 100,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the United States and has secured more than $200 million in federal and state grants for its clients.