OSAGE VALLEY TO PROVIDE BROADBAND
Osage Valley Electric Cooperative partners with internet service provider Conexon Connect to transform rural west central Missouri communities with access to a world-class fiber-to-the-home network
The network will deliver Gigabit-speed broadband internet access and reliable phone services to homes and businesses across seven counties, and provide co-op with enhanced smart grid electric infrastructure improvements
BUTLER, Mo., May 27, 2021– Conexon Connect, the internet service provider created and managed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, has been selected by Osage Valley Electric Cooperative to transform life for its members by providing access to reliable, affordable fiber broadband service.
The electric cooperative is teaming up with Connect to launch and deploy a 3,700-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network providing high-speed internet access to 16,300 homes and businesses in Cass, Bates, Henry, St. Clair, Johnson, Benton, and Vernon counties in Missouri.
“This endeavor represents a huge opportunity for our rural communities in the Osage Valley service area to move forward with access to the technology that has powered lives in urban areas for years – but has been woefully absent for our members,” said Jarrod Campbell, CEO of Osage Valley Electric Cooperative. “With Conexon guiding the process every step of the way, we know our members are in the best possible hands from start to finish and will receive exceptional service on a state-of-the-art network.”
The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and others.
“The partnership with Osage Valley Electric Cooperative presents an exciting opportunity to bring the power of Conexon fiber broadband to our own backyard,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “We’ll be installing fiber in areas just an hour away from our corporate headquarters. Now, with Connect, we’ll be on the ground both building and operating the network for local customers, and watching firsthand as members experience the life-changing impact of broadband to power their homes, businesses, health care and education.”
The Osage Valley Electric project is expected to be completed within five years. The first customers will be connected in 4Q 2021. Together, Osage Valley Electric and Conexon Connect are investing approximately $75 million to build the network.
Conexon Connect’s partnership with Osage Valley Electric follows recent announcements of similar relationships with several Georgia electric cooperatives. The completion of these projects will provide access to fiber broadband to more than 100,000 rural Americans.
Osage Valley Electric Cooperative, Inc. is a member-owned distribution cooperative that supplies electric service to its members in seven west central Missouri counties. Incorporated on August 9, 1938, OVEC now provides service to 16,300 homes and businesses through 3,700 miles of distribution line. OVEC employs 50 people and has headquarters in Butler, with a district office in Clinton, a collection site in Peculiar and payment kiosks in Belton and Harrisonville.
Connect is the newly formed internet services provider (ISP) arm of rural fiber broadband design and construction management leader Conexon. The subsidiary was formed to operate and manage cooperative and investor-owned fiber-to-the-home networks. Connect leverages Conexon’s decades of co-op operations, fiber-optic design and construction, telecommunications, federal and state lobbying and customer experience management expertise to successfully launch and operate projects. The Connect approach is to work exclusively with electric cooperatives to launch and deploy high-speed fiber-optic networks – the gold standard of communications transmission – enabling them to offer world-class fiber broadband to 100% of their members.
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is composed of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and 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 inception 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 nearly 200 electric cooperatives, nearly 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 200,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S. Overall, the company has secured more than $1.3 billion in federal and state funding for its clients across the country.