Bullhead City, AZ And Oldsmar, FL /PRNewswire/ - Mohave Electric Cooperative (MEC) announced they have received approval from the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC), in a unanimous 5-0 vote, to proceed with a planned broadband network deployment project. This initiative is designed to provide fiber optic-based internet access for the 40,000+ residential and commercial members MEC serves.
The decision by the ACC will set a new precedent for electric cooperatives in Arizona, to be able to secure financing, above a previously set threshold, for the purpose of providing access to broadband internet service for cooperative members.
"The onset of COVID-19 has made it clearer than ever that residents in rural America still lack reliable broadband service. The impact of this project for our residential members, as well as anchor institutions such as education and healthcare organizations will be tremendous. MEC is excited to help our members receive the access to high speed internet they've been needing for so long," said Tyler Carlson, CEO for Mohave Electric Cooperative.
MEC, in partnership with TWN Communications, will begin construction of the network infrastructure soon and anticipate service will begin to be available to some cooperative members later this year. The entire network is currently scheduled to be completed within 5 years of the start of construction.
Colin Wood, CEO for TWN Communications says, "This is an exciting time for Arizona. The ability for electric cooperatives to work with companies such as ours will help bridge the rural digital divide even faster. We are proud to work alongside an organization like Mohave Electric, and are excited to get started on construction to bring broadband service to members as quickly as possible."
TWN already provides MEC members with fixed wireless internet service in many areas, however, this new project will bring faster, fiber optic service to all these members, as well as those that are currently unserved. MEC members will have access to plans of 1 Gbps or more when service becomes available in their community.
TWN partners with America's rural electric cooperatives to deploy residential and commercial broadband services to co-op member-owners. The unique partnership approach TWN offers to electric cooperatives mitigates financial risk to the co-op while still allowing the cooperative to deliver broadband services to even the most underserved rural areas. TWN works hand in hand with the cooperative to provide broadband feasibility studies, network design, engineering, construction and ongoing daily network operations and support.
Mohave Electric Cooperative is a locally based, not-for-profit distribution cooperative providing electricity to more than 40,000 meters with over 1500 miles of line in the communities of Bullhead City, Fort Mohave, Wikieup, Hackberry and Peach Springs.