Mississippi-based Monroe County Electric Power Association (EPA) has selected Conexon to provide broadband management services including network design and engineering, construction management, and customer support for the association's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.
Monroe County EPA plans to begin construction on the network by 4Q 2020, with the first customers expected to be connected by early 2021. The four-year buildout is planned to span 1,500 miles of fiber, serve 100% of the power association's 10,800 members and is anticipated to cost in the range of $29 million.
"Monroe County EPA board of director 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 country," 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 Barry 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 called M-Pulse Fiber, through which members will have access to a network designed to deliver symmetrical gigabit Internet capabilities. The all-fiber network is also intended to 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," said Barry Rowland, Monroe County EPA general manager. "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."