Fiber Internet Availability
Over the last several years, we have increasingly recognized the significant issues with the lack of acceptable high-speed internet access in our area.
Our members and communities could be left behind. Insufficient internet speeds in our area can cause businesses to struggle or leave town, declining home values and stalled economic development. Young people’s education is jeopardized, and students move away for college and never move back. Senior citizens may be able to stay in their homes with access to telemedicine. Endless aspects of life could be impacted; and our members began asking— and in some cases, begging—us for help.
Our current five-year construction work plan included installing fiber internet to all 16 of our substations for operational purposes. While development for this project began, we started looking for synergies that might be available to facilitate the expansion of fiber internet to members’ homes and businesses.
In early 2018, we met with local internet providers to explore their options for installing fiber internet service to the 16 substations. After initial meetings, it was confirmed that local broadband provider, Cincinnati Bell, could be a great partner in helping to bring fiber not only to the substations, but to our members and surrounding communities as well.
Cincinnati Bell is currently seeking a grant, in partnership with the cooperative, through the United States Department of Agriculture’s ReConnect Program. This grant would help bring high-speed fiber internet to cooperative members. If you receive a request or information from us about this grant, we ask that you support these efforts.
As it stands today, we estimate that over half of our members (approximately 6,000) lack access to adequate broadband internet service. Beyond these 6,000 homes and businesses, there are other friends, neighbors, family members, and local businesses throughout our community that are also struggling due to the digital divide.
We are committed to our mission of improving the quality of life for our members and community. We will continue to work to ensure that all members have access to acceptable high-speed internet. We appreciate your support.
Check back here for updates on our progress.
Frequently Asked Questions
Did you know that there are government grants and other funds available for rural high speed internet projects?
Yes, we are aware of funds available and are looking into the requirements and details to see if they can be utilized for our project. As you may know, the cooperative currently works with the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and will continue to look for other opportunities to partner with them.
I saw contractors or a local internet company digging/replacing poles in my area. Is that related to this fiber project?
No, any current (or recent) digging or pole (re)placement is not related to the cooperative’s efforts.
What can I do to speed up the construction of fiber to my home?
Please check with your local internet providers to see what their plans are for your area.
Is fiber internet currently available for my home or business?
It could be! Please check with your local internet providers to see if it's already available.
Is the cooperative getting into the fiber internet business?
The cooperative has not committed to being a fiber internet provider. We are investigating the best ways to bring fiber internet to our membership.
What is your goal with the fiber project?
Our goal is to see that fiber internet is available and accessible to our members. It is part of the cooperative’s mission statement to improve the quality of life for our members and community.
Are you aware that cooperatives in other parts of Ohio and the country are also looking at or providing fiber internet?
Yes. While each cooperative has it's own unique goals and challenges, we continue to share resources and information and abide by the cooperative principle, "Cooperation Among Cooperatives". In the end, we are committed to doing what is best for our members and local community.