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Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative selects Conexon to design and manage construction of fiber broadband network to serve rural north Florida communities

Broadband leader brings experience, breadth of knowledge and capabilities to help cooperative deliver high-speed internet services to homes and businesses across four counties

KANSAS CITY, Mo., July 27, 2022 – Rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon has been selected by Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) to deliver comprehensive broadband support services including network design, construction project management, engineering, and operations support for the cooperative’s fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network project.

Service will be provided to SVEC members through its fiber subsidiary, Rapid Fiber Internet. The project, expected to take four years to complete and costing up to $93 million, will span over 4,100 miles of electric line to deliver high-speed fiber internet services to homes and businesses across all of Hamilton, Lafayette, and Suwannee counties, and northern Columbia County. The goal is to ultimately expand fiber broadband access to all of SVEC’s 28,000+ consumers, if possible. Construction is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2023.

“At Conexon, we believe that access to high-speed internet is an educational and economic equalizer for rural communities. We’re proud to partner with organizations like Suwannee Valley Electric that are committed to improving the lives and communities of those they serve through world-class broadband services,” Conexon Founding Partner Randy Klindt said. “It represents a tremendous commitment from the cooperative that will benefit consumers for generations to come.”

The Rapid Fiber Internet network will offer consumers access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) gigabit internet capabilities. Additionally, it will enhance SVEC’s smart grid capabilities, enabling improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery, and more.

“Like many other parts of rural America, our area finds itself on the wrong side of the ‘digital divide,’ being underserved or unserved by broadband providers. That’s why we are excited to work closely with a trusted partner like Conexon to bring high-speed internet services to our portion of north Florida,” said Michael S. McWaters, SVEC Executive Vice President/CEO. “Conexon brings expertise and years of experience in fiber-to-the-home systems for cooperatives across the country, and we are confident that together, we will achieve great results for our community, ushering in a new era of innovation and opportunity.”

Conexon works with electric cooperatives committed to serving their members with fiber broadband. With clients and partners, Conexon 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.

About Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative
Suwannee Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC) was founded in 1937 in northern Florida. After planning and construction, this member-owned cooperative energized its first electric line in 1940. Since the beginning, SVEC has worked tirelessly to bring safe, affordable, and reliable electricity to its rural communities. Today, SVEC maintains over 4,100 miles of power lines and serves more than 28,000 consumers in Florida’s Columbia, Hamilton, Lafayette, and Suwannee counties.

About Conexon Connect
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home to 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, 60 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.