KANSAS CITY, Mo., Nov. 13, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Conexon, the nation's leader in assisting electric cooperatives to deploy broadband networks, has been selected by Tombigbee Electric Power Association (TEPA) to design and manage the construction for its recently announced fiber-to-the-home network. Tombigbee is one of the first electric power associations in Mississippi to make this move, and plans to deploy fiber to the home to offer service to 100% of its 43,980 members.
Mississippi law recently changed, giving electric power associations the ability to expand their offerings through subsidiaries to provide broadband services. Since the passage of that legislation, TEPA has worked diligently to study the feasibility of offering fiber to the home, along with smart grid technology to improve its electric system. Conexon played a critical role in the due diligence, and has since been engaged to design and construct the network.
The project, with an expected budget of $95 million, will move immediately into the design phase, and is anticipated to be completed in four phases over four years.
"We applaud Tombigbee both for its diligence in determining the best solution for members and the speed with which it has approached broadband planning and deployment once Mississippi law allowed it," said Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers. "It has been a pleasure getting to know Bill Long and the board of TEPA in recent months. Our team is really excited about this project."
The planned state-of-the-art fiber-optic network will offer co-op members access to some of the fastest, most robust broadband capabilities in the country – Gigabit speed service that's reliable, affordable and backed by the co-op's commitment to service. Additionally, it will enable significant upgrades, enhancements and smart grid capabilities for virtually every aspect of TEPA's electrical distribution infrastructure.
"Our co-op has long maintained a commitment to providing a vital service to the communities and members we serve, affordably and accessibly," said Bill Long, Tombigbee General Manager. "We are pleased to work with Conexon, because of the team's extensive experience, to now offer broadband in that same spirit."
"Broadband capabilities have the power to improve lives and lifestyles, spur business growth and revitalize communities, among other benefits," added Conexon Partner Randy Klindt. "Tombigbee is passionate about its role in bettering the lives of its members through technology, and we're proud to work with them on this project."
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is comprised of professionals who have worked for electric cooperatives and within the telecommunications industry, and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marketing and selling telecommunications. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project's conception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. The company 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 nearly 110 electric cooperatives, over 33 of which are constructing fiber networks, with more than 85,000 co-op members connected across the U.S., and has secured more than $200 million in federal and state grants for its clients.