The juxtaposition of a fiber optic cable on a dirt road paints the picture of many parts of rural America and glimpses of the stark contrast in infrastructures can be seen in the above video. With 1,300 miles of recently deployed fiber and an average of 2.5 customers per mile, United Electric Cooperative is providing broadband to its formerly unserved members. Sparked by a $21.2 M RUS broadband stimulus award, United Electric continues to turn-up new customers.
In this interview filmed The Independent Show, Darren Farnan, Chief Development Officer of United Electric Cooperative, talks about the motivation for building this system and the advantages of fiber to the home from a customer perspective and from an ongoing operations basis. Although a reseller of DBS services, United Electric Cooperative saw the need for a terrestrial broadband system for its members so that they could remain competitive with other areas.
Since we visited them in 2012, United Electric Cooperative has expanded into video and voice services as well. Farnan discusses this service expansion, as well as touching upon opportunities they are finding to work with other communities and operators.
[Thank you Calix for use of the b-roll.]