MOORE HAVEN — Glades Electric Cooperative has selected Conexon Connect as a partner to deploy high-speed internet access to all cooperative members, closing the digital divide for many in Florida’s Heartland. Conexon Connect, formed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, will serve as the internet service provider for the cooperative’s fiber network to be built by Conexon.
The Connect, powered by Glades Electric Cooperative, network will deliver world-class internet service to homes and businesses across a 2,600-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The goal is to expand fiber broadband access to all of the co-op’s approximately 13,373 members in Glades, Hendry, Highlands, and Okeechobee counties.
“The abrupt change in our lifestyles during Covid brought to light how far behind in broadband access Florida’s Heartland has been left,” said Jeff Brewington, Glades Electric Cooperative CEO. “We began to research how Glades Electric could be part of the solution, which led us to Conexon to help us bridge the gap in a very affordable way and continue our mission of ‘Neighbors Working for Neighbors’.”
Glades Electric’s $50 million fiber network is expected to be completed within three years. The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) multi-gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation. Additionally, it will provide reliable, clear phone service and enable the future benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery, and more.
“The opportunity to partner with a co-op such as Glades Electric takes us right back to the heart of why we do this,” said Randy Klindt, Conexon Founding Partner and Conexon Connect CEO. “We look forward to delivering world-class, multi-gigabit internet service to unserved and underserved homes and businesses in the rural heartland of Florida, providing access to the connectivity they need.”
The fiber network will be built in several phases, with each taking approximately 12 to 18 months from construction start to customer installation. Glades Electric Cooperative members can find service pricing and FAQs at gladeselectric.com/broadband-announcement/. Members can also sign up for project updates at ConexonConnect.com.