Rural broadband leader brings experience, breadth, and scope of capabilities to help co-op deliver gigabit-speed internet to members
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb. 11, 2022 – Rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, Conexon, has been selected by Winnsboro, Louisiana-based Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative (NELPCO) to deliver comprehensive fiber broadband support services including network design, construction project management, engineering, and operations support for the electric cooperative’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network project. Service will be provided to NELPCO members through its fiber subsidiary, Volt Broadband.
Through this partnership, 100 percent of NELPCO members spanning a seven-parish region will have access to world-class, high-speed fiber internet. The overall project is anticipated to be complete within two years.
“We’re proud to be a part of this project,” Conexon Founding Partner Randy Klindt said. “It’s become clear that this part of Louisiana, like many rural areas, is in desperate need of high-speed internet. This project will provide not only affordable internet service to Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative’s members, but access to the most robust, and fastest service available anywhere in the country. It will be life-changing for rural northeast Louisiana residents.”
The lightning-fast fiber-optic network offered by Volt Broadband will give members access to symmetrical gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will enable enhancements and smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery, and others.
“We are excited to work closely with a trusted and proven company like Conexon to provide this much-needed product to our co-op members through Volt Broadband,” NELPCO and Volt Broadband General Manager Jeff Churchwell said. “Conexon brings years of valuable experience and expertise in both the design and construction of fiber-to-the-home systems for cooperatives across the country. We are confident that by working closely with them, we will achieve great results for our members.”
Conexon brings to the project unmatched experience and expertise in deploying rural FTTH networks. The company has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber for cooperative projects and builds more than 50,000 miles of fiber annually. In addition, Conexon has created a broad ecosystem of equipment and labor resources specializing in rural fiber builds. Since forming six years ago, Conexon has assisted more than 200 electric cooperatives, 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 500,000 rural Americans connected to fiber-to-the-home networks.
"Electric cooperatives were built on a covenant, an echo of the original American covenant of ‘We the People,’” Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. “Covenants bind people together and lift them all up. In this fashion, NELPCO and its subsidiary, Volt, will bring light, via an advanced fiber-optic network, to all of its members over the next two years. We are proud to be part of that effort and congratulate Jeff Churchwell for leading a cooperative that is ‘of the members, by the members and for the members.’"
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is comprised 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. 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 more than 200 electric cooperatives, 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 500,000 rural Americans connected to fiber to the home. The company has secured more than $1.5 billion in federal and state funding for its clients.
Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative was incorporated in 1938 and is headquartered in Winnsboro, Louisiana with additional offices in Bastrop and Oak Grove. NELPCO serves nearly 11,000 members in a seven-parish region including Franklin, Madison, Richland, Tensas, East Carroll, West Carroll, and Morehouse.
Volt Broadband, LLC was established in 2021, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Northeast Louisiana Power Cooperative. Volt will work with its partners to bring Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) technology to NELPCO members using the existing cooperative infrastructure.