We're Movin' On (Over) To The East Side
by Bob Hance on Tuesday, October 1, 2019
I like to-do lists. More importantly, I like checking things off my to-do list.
We’re checking off a big one as we wrap up our five-year southwest Michigan fiber deployment. It was a huge and very ambitious undertaking, and we check it off with more than 10,000 internet subscribers and a business model and approach that dozens of electric cooperatives across the country are using as they launch their own projects.
The fiber deployment sets us up not only to deliver the highest quality internet platform available, but also positions us to introduce a variety of applications through our distribution grid that will improve electric safety and reliability. Through this project we’re living our mission of delivering first-in-class innovations and solutions where others won’t.
We’ve invested a lot of time, money and resources in our southwest Michigan and northern Indiana service territory, and our customers to the east keep asking when it will be their turn.
This dates me, but some of my readers will remember a television program called The Jeffersons that first aired in 1975. The theme song from this popular sitcom opened with the words, “Well we’re movin’ on up, to the east side…”
It’s not up, but rather over. Regardless, we’re headed east to build a communications infrastructure.
Walk-out and engineering work for our fiber deployment in southeast Michigan and northern Ohio is underway, and construction begins this month for our first zone. We are starting in the Tecumseh area on the northeast side of the district, working our way counterclockwise through the Michigan portion of the service territory, and ending our construction efforts in Ohio. We expect to begin home installs in the second quarter of 2020, and all construction should be complete with installs well underway by the end of 2021.
It’s never fun to be last, and we appreciate your patience. We are constructing a brand new infrastructure, and there are many steps to the process. With five years of experience under our belts, we’re well prepared to build out the entire system within a two-year window.
We’ve been part of your lives and community for over 80 years, and are laying other groundwork as we settle in for the long run. The communications system is just one step we’re taking to ensure that we’re equipped, and you’re equipped, with the types of opportunities and advantages to make the rural experience vibrant and relevant. As we begin the fiber deployment, we will continue to carefully evaluate and consider the overall needs of the region and our customers so that we can provide the highest quality service experience while also improving efficiencies and outcomes.
Southwest Michigan is in great shape, and now we’re movin’ on over to bring some long-overdue attention to customers in the east side of our service area.