Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) has given green signal to the fiber optic project so that Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) can proceed with the deployment. MEC announced that they received the approval in a unanimous voting took place at ACC.
MEC will proceed with the planned broadband network deployment project. This fibe optic initiative is designed to provide fiber optic-based internet access for more than 40,000 residential and commercial members served by MEC.
The decision by the ACC will set a new precedent for electric cooperatives in Arizona, to be able to secure financing, above a previously set threshold, for the purpose of providing access to broadband internet service for cooperative members.
The onset of COVID-19 has made it clearer than ever that residents in rural America still lack reliable broadband service. Worldwide, there is a surge in the use of internet and broadband services that makes the telecommunication services essential more important than ever.
The impact of this project for MEC’s residential members, as well as anchor institutions such as education and healthcare organizations will be tremendous. MEC is prepared to serve its members receive the access to high speed internet they’ve been needing for so long.
MEC, in partnership with TWN Communications, will begin construction of the network infrastructure soon and anticipate service will begin to be available to some cooperative members later this year. The entire network is currently scheduled to be completed within 5 years of the start of construction.
The ability for electric cooperatives to work with companies such as ACC will help bridge the rural digital divide even faster. There are very few companies that are interested in fiber optic projects in rural areas since the return of investment is slow in rural areas in comparison with urban areas. More than business, deployment of high-speed broadband in rural areas is a social commitment.
TWN already provides MEC members with fixed wireless internet service in many areas, however, this new project will bring faster, fiber optic service to all these members, as well as those that are currently unserved. MEC members will have access to plans of 1 Gbps or more when service becomes available in their community.
TWN partners with America’s rural electric cooperatives to deploy residential and commercial broadband services to co-op member-owners. The unique partnership approach TWN offers to electric cooperatives mitigates financial risk to the co-op while still allowing the cooperative to deliver broadband services to even the most underserved rural areas. TWN works hand in hand with the cooperative to provide broadband feasibility studies, network design, engineering, construction and ongoing daily network operations and support.
Mohave Electric Cooperative is a locally based, not-for-profit distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 40,000 meters with over 1500 miles of line in the communities of Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Wikieup, Hackberry and Peach Springs.