TVPPA member Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative (MLEC) is in the process of constructing main line fiber in rural Hickman, Lewis and Perry counties for Meriwether Lewis Connect (MLConnect) with a goal to be doing in-home/business installations of fast, affordable, reliable broadband in all areas of their service area by the end of 2022.
“Weather, demand, Covid’s impact on labor and equipment availability, as well as other uncontrollable factors may slow our progress,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan, “but we’re committed to not stopping until every MLEC member has the option for service.”
An MLEC subsidiary, MLConnect is currently doing installations in all nine cities in the service territory and four of the five counties served by the cooperative. Rural Hickman County will be the last section prepared for installations, which MLConnect estimates to begin in early-to-mid 2022.
“We’re building almost 5,000 miles of fiber, which is like driving to Yellowstone National Park and back, so some delays are bound to come,” said Carnahan. “We’re grateful for everyone’s support and the opportunity to invest in the future of our communities with fast, affordable, reliable broadband.”
TVPPA members who want to learn more about fiber deployment should contact Brad Rains, staff liaison for TVPPA’s Fiber Deployment Advisory Group.
On Tuesday, October 26 at 10 a.m., TVPPA members can also join in a webinar to learn more about upcoming rural broadband grants being made available via the the Infrastructure bill passed by the U.S. Senate in August. The first event in a new hot topics webinar series, Current and Upcoming Fiber Grant Opportunities features Joanne Hovis, CTC President and renowned expert on broadband markets, along with CTC VP for Grant & Funding Strategy Heather Mills, who will share in-depth information on broadband funding available through 2021. The bill includes $65B in funding for broadband infrastructure with a variety of funding being distributed via state entities. This webinar will break down the types of funding available and share details on how local power companies can access funding through various grant programs.
For more information on the webinar series or to register for this event, please email TVPPA Member Services Manager, Kari Crouse.