For the Press

Florida’s Escambia River Electric Cooperative partners with internet service provider Conexon Connect to bring world-class broadband to rural areas in Northwestern Florida

The network is expected to be complete to all 4,000 locations by mid-2024, with initial service availability targeted as early as Q3 2023.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Jan. 26, 2023 - Conexon Connect, the internet service provider formed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, Conexon, has been selected by Escambia River Electric Cooperative (EREC) to deliver high-speed fiber internet access for rural Floridians living and working in the cooperative’s service territory.

The Connect, powered by Escambia River Electric Cooperative, network will span approximately 600 miles of fiber network in Escambia County reaching over 4,000 electric member locations with an estimated cost of $24 million. The network is expected to be complete to all 4,000 locations by mid-2024, with initial service availability targeted as early as Q3 2023.

“I applaud the decision of the Escambia County Commission to make broadband connectivity to its unserved residents a priority,” said Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers. “With funding from the county, we will be able to accelerate the construction of areas that were part of the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. In addition, if EREC is successful in its grant application to the state, we will be able to build a fiber-optic network to the rest of EREC’s members in Escambia County. I want to thank Ryan Campbell for his leadership. Soon, Escambia County will lead the state in fiber connectivity.”

The lightning-fast fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) multi-gigabit internet capabilities. 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 more.

“EREC has made great strides since the 1930s when we first brought electricity to this area. We continue to seek out and bring much-needed services to the rural areas, and high-speed internet is now a necessity,” said Ryan Campbell, CEO for EREC.  “As a not-for-profit cooperative, we are excited about bringing this critical service to our members.”

Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives who are 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.

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnerships in the state of Florida, continuing our efforts of serving unserved and underserved rural residents across the U.S.,” Conexon Founding Partner Randy Klindt said. “Bringing fiber to those who need it most is why we started Conexon and why we work daily to close the digital divide in communities like those served by EREC.”


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, Kentucky, and Missouri.

About Conexon

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 275 electric cooperatives, 75 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 500,000 rural Americans connected to fiber to the home. The company has secured nearly $2 billion in federal, state and local grants and subsidies for its clients.

About Escambia River Electric Cooperative

Founded in 1939, The Escambia River Electric Cooperative brings affordable electric power to over 10,000 residents of northern Escambia County and Santa Rosa County, Florida. The company is a member-owned electric distribution cooperative headquartered in Jay, Florida, with another location in Walnut Hill. EREC’s mission is to provide dependable electric service at competitive rates while seeking ways to enhance the area’s quality of life through economic development projects, educating students about safety and the environment, and generously donating time, energy and resources for charities, schools and community events.