Adtran signs up US rural power companies for gigabit fibre broadband

Adtran signs up US rural power companies for gigabit fibre broadband

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Four electricity cooperatives in Alabama and Tennessee are to start offering gigabit fibre-based broadband services to their customers.

All four – covering a total population of only 100,000 – are working with equipment vendor Adtran plus FiberRise, a company that specialises in working with US utilities on broadband projects.

Keith Carnahan, president and CEO of Tennessee-based Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative (MLEC), said: “We pride ourselves on meeting our members’ needs through reliable and affordable access to the essential services to grow the community. By working with FiberRise and Adtran to enhance our network and deliver fibre broadband, we know we’re taking one of the best steps we can for our members.”

Mike Partin, president and CEO of Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC), also in Tennessee, added: “We launched fibre broadband services as a means to improve the lives of those we serve, and we’re realising everyday how life-changing the impacts to our community will be in so many ways, including more ability to attract and retain businesses and improved educational opportunities.”

The other two electricity coops in the Adtran/FiberRise deal are the North Alabama Electric Cooperative (NAEC) and Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, also in Alabama. NAEC general manager Bruce Purdy said. “We know how key fibre 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.”

Tombigbee president and CEO Steve Foshee added: “We’ll be able to offer dependable, high-quality broadband at a level equal to any major city and afford our members access to a critical resource they would not otherwise have in our community.”

FiberRise CEO Tommy Harmon said: “Our deployment of utility-grade fibre systems delivers the optimal foundation to support their communication needs so their networks will operate at the highest possible up time for everyone they serve. By partnering with Adtran, we can assure our customers of strong, stable networks that will serve as the foundation for a new wave of growth and opportunity.”

Adtran said that the coops are establishing long-term, multi-gigabit fibre access solutions built on an open, scalable architecture that provides the reliability and flexibility demanded of a modern telecommunications network. Brian Efimetz, the company’s VP of regional service provider sales, said. “We see the utilities space as a growing opportunity for our solutions and services.”

Electricity coops in the US date back to the 1930s, when President Franklin Roosevelt created the Rural Electricification Administration to act as a loan agency to efforts to provide electricity to rural America.

There are just over 800 electric cooperatives in the US, serving 42 million people. That is about 13% of the population but the distribution networks cover about 75% of the landmass. Today the NAEC serves just 17,700 coop members.



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