Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative has secured more than $4 million through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction to launch and deploy gigabit speed-capable broadband service within its rural Oklahoma communities.
The cooperative has recently announced its broadband subsidiary, Cookson Hills Connect, and its intent to launch a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network to serve 100% of the 14,250 homes and businesses in its eight-county service territory. The RDOF funding will boost its build plans, helping enable Cookson Hills Connect to launch and deploy the gigabit-speed network to its members within just a few years, allowing them to realize the economic, educational and community benefits of reliable, affordable high-speed internet service. The deployment will encompass 2,500 miles offering access to FTTH broadband throughout its entire territory, according to Cookson Hills Electric General Manager Juli Orme.
Cookson Hills Connect’s 100 percent fiber network will deliver world-class service to subscribers, including ultra fast speeds for both downloading and uploading. This symmetrical speed and the power of fiber allows multiple users and devices at the same time without any loss of service quality. This is a necessity in the midst of the continued pandemic where the needs for reliable broadband – remote learning, working from home, staying connected with loved ones and virtual doctor visits – are so illuminated.
“The power of broadband to transform lives has become word of mouth across the nation and it’s catching fire. People are looking to America’s cooperatives to once again fulfill our mission of making lives better for rural Americans, this time through broadband,” Orme said. “The RDOF award will help us deliver on that and we are looking forward to putting those funds to use for our members.”
Cookson Hills Electric was a member of the Rural Electric Cooperative Consortium (RECC), a bidding entity of over 90 cooperatives coordinated and led by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon to secure RDOF funds. Overall, Conexon’s RECC was awarded over $1.1 billion, enabling electric cooperatives across 22 states to deliver world-class FTTH service to over two million rural Americans.