Fiber internet fever continues to spread across southwest Michigan, and in August, we reached a major milestone: our 5,000th installation. This celebration was special not only because it marked a significant milestone in our efforts to bridge the rural digital divide, but also because of the family nature of the actual installation.

5,000 Fiber Internet Installations

Tim helps his mom get started with fiber internet.

In 2014, Midwest Energy & Communication (MEC) contracted with Ace Cable, a local fiber and cable installation company, to install our aerial drops. Owner and co-op member Tim Brown, Sr., who lives in Marcellus with his wife Donna, loved being part of the extended team bringing fiber internet to southwest Michigan, but also was eager for his own turn to have service installed at his home. Tim and Donna were thrilled to be part of the 2017 construction plan, and ecstatic when their Aug. 24 installation date arrived.

What made that date event more special was the installation technician: Tim Brown, II.

Apparently fiber installation is in the Brown DNA. Two sons currently work with their dad at Ace Cable, and in 2014 Tim, II. joined MEC as our first installation and maintenance technician. Every day he helps families experience a life-changing moment when they cross the digital divide and gain access to a world that their urban counterparts have enjoyed for years.

Tim, II. is also a MEC member from Marcellus, so in typical father-son fashion, the two started some friendly jabbing about who might get fiber internet first. In September 2016, the race was on as we officially announced Marcellus as part of the 2017 build. Tim, Sr. joked that if his son was selected first, he wouldn’t do the drop to his house. Tim, II. chided back that if his dad got selected, he wouldn’t perform the installation. The rivalry continued until Tim, II. was up for install. When asked how dad took the news, Tim said, “He was happy for me, but he’s happier now that it’s his turn.”

“We’ve loved being part of this project as a family,” said Donna. “We’ve gotten to catch up with neighbors and watching it all happen around us has been so fun.”

“I can’t believe it is here and happening. It’s going to be a whole new world for us. I’ve never able to use Netflix or anything like that. I’m so excited and can’t wait to see what I’ve been missing,” said Donna.


How do we pick our zones? We don’t; you do. We determine our next zones based on the amount of interest from folks in that zone. So be sure to tell all your friends who live in the area to register here. You can read our latest construction updates here.