MEC announces plan to bring fiber broadband to members
BULLHEAD CITY, Ariz. – In a first-of-its-kind endeavor for a cooperative in Arizona, Mohave Electric Cooperative has announced an ambitious effort to bring fiber-optic broadband service to 100 percent of its members.
MEC is partnering with TransWorld Network Communications, a service provider with over 25 years of experience working with electric cooperatives.
“It’s wonderful our members are excited about this project, but we need to be careful not to get ahead of ourselves,” said Tyler Carlson, CEO of MEC. “Although the board of directors has voted to move forward, there are still many steps left in the process before the service is available.
“We are moving forward, but completing this effort is contingent on finding the necessary funding.”
The first stage was a survey conducted by MEC to explore member expectations and needs regarding internet use. The survey “take rate,” meaning members who would use the service, was 95 percent.
MEC followed the survey with a feasibility study and, in September, the MEC board of directors voted to proceed.
“We asked and our members answered,” Carlson said. “Having access to reliable, cost-effective, high-speed fiber service is something members desire throughout our service territory.
“This isn’t going to happen overnight. Financing through the duration of the project must be secured and the infrastructure needs to be built.”
TWN will be providing the actual service.
“The communities served by Mohave Electric have been underserved for reliable, true broadband service for too long,” said Colin Wood, CEO of TWN Communications. “We are excited to help them fill that gap and bring service to their members.”
For those concerned about electricity rates, Carlson said this is a stand-alone service and rates will not be affected.