Rapid expansion of client base, resources, strategic partnerships reflects company commitment to electric cooperatives delivering broadband across rural America
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon has earned a spot on the Inc. 500 listing of America's fastest-growing private companies, with three-year revenue growth of over 1,400%. The company debuted as No. 9 within the telecommunications industry and No. 325 overall. Within Missouri, Conexon was ranked as the 4th fastest-growing private company.
Conexon recently marked its fifth year of working with electric cooperatives to close the Digital Divide through the power of fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks deployed in rural communities across America. Conexon was a pioneer of the electric cooperative broadband movement, launching and operating several of the nation's earliest and most successful FTTH projects for co-ops. Since forming, the company has grown consistently across all measures – revenues, employees, clients and strategic partnerships – with an unwavering mission to serve rural America with premium high-speed internet services. To date, Conexon has worked with nearly 200 of the nation's co-ops, planning, designing and/or building FTTH networks.
In addition to the 2020 Inc. 500 accolade, Conexon received recognition for its growth and success locally, and was listed among Broadband Communities Magazine's Fiber-To-The-Home Top 100 for the third year in a row.
"What brought Randy and me together nearly five years ago was a shared belief," Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. "First, that every rural community, every rural business and every rural home needs advanced broadband services. Second, that fiber-optic networks are the only networks worth public or community investment in broadband. Third, that it is economical to build fiber everywhere there is an electric line. We estimate that rural America needs another three million miles of fiber-optic cable, and over the coming decade we aim to build at least one million miles. It's nice that the Inc. tabulation puts us in the top ten in the industry. We've been at this awhile, and we're just getting started."
Conexon is currently working with multiple cooperatives across the country to deliver FTTH in their rural territories – a mission with increased urgency given the COVID-19 pandemic and critical need for online education, telehealth and remote work capabilities. Among those clients are numerous co-ops already receiving or well-positioned to receive state and federal funding to rapidly launch and build networks in unserved and under-served areas. Conexon has assembled the resources to enable those co-ops to quickly launch and scale to meet the timeline and milestone requirements of the funding and the needs of their members.
"The Inc. 500 ranking and additional recognition we've received is due to the work and commitment of our employees and our cooperative clients," Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. "We all share the same vision and a sense of pride that we're working to change people's lives through access to high-speed internet capabilities many in non-rural areas take for granted. Our vision is broadband parity for rural Americans and everything we do is aimed to achieve that."
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. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project's conception 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 more than 160 electric cooperatives, 40 of which are deploying fiber networks, with nearly 100,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S., and has secured more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal and state grants for its clients.
About the Inc. 5000 methodology
The 2020 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2016 and 2019. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2016. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2019. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2016 is $100,000; the minimum for 2019 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.'s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.