Sac Osage Electric Cooperative partners with new internet service provider Conexon Connect to transform rural west central Missouri communities with access to a world-class fiber-to-the-home network
Network will deliver Gigabit-speed broadband internet access and reliable phone services to homes and businesses across 9 counties, and provide co-op with enhanced smart grid electric infrastructure improvements
EL DORADO SPRINGS, Mo., May 27, 2021 – Sac Osage Electric Cooperative announced plans today to transform life for its 8,700 members by providing access to reliable, affordable, high-speed fiber broadband service. The cooperative has selected Conexon Connect, the newly formed internet service provider created and managed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, to lead the project.
Together, Sac Osage Electric Cooperative and Connect will launch and deploy a 2,300-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network in west central Missouri, providing high-speed internet access to 8,700 homes and businesses in Henry, Benton, Saint Clair, Hickory, Vernon, Cedar, Barton, Polk, and Dade counties. The project will reach 100% of the Sac Osage co-op membership with fiber internet upon completion.
“Without question, fiber broadband will be a gamechanger,” said Jim Davis, General Manager of Sac Osage Electric Cooperative. “The speed, reliability, affordability, and attention to customer service that Conexon’s network will provide will change lives from the moment it is deployed. We cannot wait to share that future with every one of our members and watch our communities flourish.”
The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical 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 couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Sac Osage Electric Cooperative to bring the life-changing impact of Conexon’s fiber broadband to a community just hours away from our own corporate headquarters,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “Every part of life for local residents will look different when this project is complete: home, business, health care, education, and entertainment. We are confident members will love the Connect services as much as we do.”
Together, Sac Osage Electric and Conexon Connect are investing approximately $52 million to build the network, which is expected to be completed within 3-4 years. The first customers are anticipated to be connected in 1Q 2022.
“Conexon was founded on three basic principles that mirror long-held electric cooperative principles,” Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. “First, every member of every electric co-op should have access to world-class internet service. Second, there should be no geographic discrimination – every co-op member regardless of where they live should have the same quality of service at the same price. Third, the fiber network is a valuable asset that should be owned by the community being served. We’re thrilled Sac Osage Electric has chosen to partner with us, and thankful for the leadership shown by Jim Davis and the co-op’s board of directors.”
Conexon Connect’s partnership with Sac Osage Electric follows recent announcements of similar relationships with several Georgia electric cooperatives. The completion of these projects will provide access to fiber broadband more than 100,000 rural Americans.
Connect is the newly formed internet services provider (ISP) arm of rural fiber broadband design and construction management leader Conexon. The subsidiary was formed to operate and manage cooperative and investor-owned 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 exclusively 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 100% of their members.
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is composed 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 inception 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 nearly 200 electric cooperatives, nearly 50 of which are deploying fiber networks, with more than 200,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S. Overall, the company has secured more than $1.3 billion in federal and state funding for its clients across the country.