Lake Region Electric Cooperative Inc., (LREC) is conducting a case study to bring “Fiber-To-The-Home” broadband internet service to homes and businesses in the cooperatives service area. LREC is a leading example of how electric cooperatives are expanding their traditional business model to include advanced broadband services for their members and throughout their respective communities.
This Fiber-To-The-Home technology would allow LREC to implement an advanced broadband network infrastructure. LREC would offer high-speed internet and phone services over their fiber access networks that are capable of delivering (10 megabyte speed) and unlimited data to any subscriber – far faster than the broadband speeds available to most subscribers in the area. Satellite internet and wireless broadband services are not meeting the needs of the members today. LREC would like to take their cooperative spirit and leverage their current networks and operational infrastructures to become advanced broadband service providers to their members.
The case study has been positive so far and the Board of Trustees has authorized LREC to prepare for a small-scale pilot project in the Woodall and Park Hill area. Our next step is to provide the Board with detailed data regarding the number of members who will commit to purchase broadband (10 megabyte speed) and unlimited data internet and/or phone service from LREC.
"In rural Oklahoma, we must find every opportunity to keep our community thriving and competitive with urban areas," said Stanley Young, LREC Director of Marketing. "With this fiber access network, every member of our cooperative will benefit, from recent graduates who can now work from home, to businesses that can take advantage of tailored, high-bandwidth packages, and schools that can collaborate with other institutions.
Rural Electric Cooperatives brought electric service to the rural communities in the 1930s when no investor owned utilities or municipal systems would do that. Now people living in the rural areas can enjoy all the amenities that the electric service in an urban living environment can provide. Broadband service is now the next step in improving the quality of life in the rural areas.
“Expansion of broadband service to rural areas is as important of a mission as it was to bring electricity to the rural areas in the 1930s and the cooperatives have a proven track record that they can tackle the task at hand,” said Hamid Vahdatipour, LREC Chief Executive Officer.
LREC needs the memberships help in this case study to confirm there is sufficient interest in this Fiber-To-The-Home pilot program and it would be worth the investment to build these lines. LREC has began by reaching out to its members, going door-to-door, making phone calls, and informing it’s members to sign up early registrants for the Fiber-To-The-Home services.
This project has to be self-sufficient and not place a heavy burden on the electric rates. LREC must have enough commitments from the members in the pilot project area to start this program. LREC members living within the pilot project area interested in these services can complete a commitment letter available on LREC website at www.lrecok.coop and mail to LREC at P.O. Box 127 Hulbert, Oklahoma 74441 or call the office for a copy of the Fiber-To-The-Home commitment letter. This will help LREC Board collect the data they need to make an educated decision as to whether or not to move forward with this project.
If you have any questions concerning the Fiber-To-The-Home pilot project, please contact us at 918-772-2526.
Lake Region Electric, 516 Lake Region Road, Hulbert OK 74441, 800-364-LREC | 918-772-2526