Midwest Connections, a service of Midwest Energy Cooperative, is hosting a series of summer open houses to give co-op members an opportunity to test drive the fiber internet service now being used by more than 2000 homes and businesses across southwest Michigan. The first event is Tuesday, June 28 from 4-8 p.m. at Lewis Cass ISD, 61682 Dailey Road, Cassopolis. Staff will be on hand to answer questions, and technology stations will be available to experience the look and feel of a real high-speed service.

In 2015, Midwest launched a five-year plan to deploy the fiber internet solution across the co-op’s southwest Michigan service territory. The cooperative is investing in a systemwide fiber communications infrastructure across the distribution grid for utility purposes, and is leveraging that investment to deliver the first real high-speed option for the largely unserved and underserved rural space in southwest Michigan. The service is now available, or will be yet this year, across 11 substation zones in the co-op’s southwest Michigan service territory. Thirteen substation zones remain in pre-registration. Midwest is employing a grassroots approach to determine next-step construction plans through the five-year build. Co-op members are encouraged to visit the TeamFiber website to learn more and sign up.

Many in the cooperative’s rural service area have long awaited a true high-speed internet option. “Using Midwest for our internet needs has allowed us to catch up with internet speeds that are normally only available to larger cities,” says Chad Pagels of Cassopolis. “Having this option in a rural market is very exciting and opens up many opportunities for our family.”

Comments from users have been overwhelmingly positive. Cassopolis resident Carey May recently shared, “I LOVE my internet. The stress from data overages is long gone; no more having to tell the kids to not use internet for a few days due to data. The speed is impeccable and we have had nothing but a positive experience.”

The open house event is free and open to any Midwest Energy Cooperative member. Additional open houses will be held from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, July 21 at Olde Mill Golf Course; Wednesday, Aug. 17 at Calvin Township Community Building; and Thursday, Sept. 22 at Milton Township Hall. For more information or to reserve a spot, please contact Nicole Barfell at 269-445-1112 or email nicole.barfell@teammidwest.com.