For the Press

Florida’s Tri-County Electric Cooperative partners with internet service provider Conexon Connect to bring world-class broadband to the state’s Big Bend

The Connect, powered by Tri-County Electric Cooperative, fiber network represents Florida’s first electric cooperative fiber-to-the-home project; will deliver high-speed internet access to approximately 12,000 to 15,000 homes and businesses across four counties.

MADISON, Fla., April 11, 2022 – Conexon Connect, the internet service provider formed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, has been selected by Tri-County Electric Cooperative to deliver high-speed fiber internet access for rural Floridians living and working in the cooperative’s service territory.

The cooperative is partnering with Connect to launch and deploy a nearly 2,400-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, a project representing Florida’s first FTTH project launched by an electric cooperative.

The Connect, powered by Tri-County Electric Cooperative, network will deliver world-class internet service to approximately 12,000 to 15,000 homes and businesses across Jefferson, Madison, Taylor and Dixie counties. Upon the project’s completion, 100 percent of Tri-County Electric members will have access to the service. “We’re proud to partner with Tri-County Electric on Florida’s first electric cooperative FTTH network project, and deliver to its members the highest quality internet available,” Conexon Founding Partner and Conexon Connect CEO, Randy Klindt said. “Like many rural areas, these north Florida communities have been disadvantaged for too long by the lack of vital high-speed broadband services. Today’s announcement marks our shared commitment with Tri-County Electric to change that, and improve the lives and communities of those served by the co-op.” Tri-County Electric’s nearly $65 million network is expected to be completed within two-to-four years. The lightning-fast fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enable the benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and others.

“We’re so excited to get started and we can’t wait for our members to experience some of the same benefits that their urban and city counterparts experience, while pairing it with living in rural settings and enjoying the natural beauty our counties offer,” Julius Hackett, Tri-County Electric Cooperative CEO said. “I think it’s going to be one of the key pieces to attract additional residents to our communities and allow our existing residents to thrive. Everyone will have access to this network – we’re not leaving anyone behind.” Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives committed to serving their members with fiber broadband. With its clients, the company has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber, builds more than 50,000 miles of fiber annually, and has connected more than 500,000 rural Americans to fiber to the home. “Tri-County Electric’s service territory is one of the most unserved areas in the state, if not the country, when it comes to broadband,” Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. “There are two key ingredients that will make possible first-class broadband where it was once thought impossible. First, the state is preparing a broadband fund for areas like this and we intend to participate. I can think of no area more in need of, and deserving of public support. Second, any endeavor such as this requires leadership. Julius Hackett is just that leader. We’re proud to be working with him, his team and the board at Tri-County.”

About Conexon Connect
Conexon Connect is the internet service provider (ISP) arm of rural fiber broadband design and construction management leader Conexon. The subsidiary was formed to operate and manage cooperative fiber-to-the-home networks. Connect leverages Conexon’s decades of co-op operations, fiber-optic design and construction, telecommunications, federal and state lobbying and customer experience management expertise to successfully launch and operate projects. The Connect approach is to work with electric cooperatives to launch and deploy high-speed fiber-optic networks – the gold standard of communications transmission – enabling them to offer world-class fiber broadband to their members. Connect today is partnering with multiple cooperatives in Colorado, Florida, Georgia and Missouri.