As many of you may know, Valley Electric Association and Valley Communications Association, made a commitment several years back to offer members access to broadband services. Just as in the 1960s—when we brought electricity to our rural communities—we believe providing reliable and affordable high-speed internet further fulfills our mission of making our members’ lives better.
Since 2016, our broadband efforts have leveraged a combination of transmission media, including wireless and fiber optics. I’m pleased today to tell you we have made the decision to move to a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network for all members. We are choosing to make this investment in fiber for our members because it is considered the gold standard of broadband transmission: reliable, “future-proof” and resilient.
The network will be built over our existing electric distribution infrastructure using an architecture that allows us to take fiber directly into homes and businesses, delivering super-fast and affordable internet services. This means members—some of whom have long been hampered by a lack of high-speed internet options—will now have access to the internet that ranks among the fastest and most robust in the nation.
I know this announcement will lead to many questions, the first of which is “when will it be here?” Ensuring reliable, symmetrical gigabit-speed service to reach our members is no small endeavor but one we are committed to advancing within a three-year timeline. Service will be available to members on a rolling basis as construction progresses across our service territory.
We will begin construction in early 2023 and expect to connect initial members who do not yet have fiber by mid-year. When fiber is available in your area, we will contact you. We anticipate all members will have access to FTTH service by the end of 2025. For more detailed information, I encourage you to read through our project FAQs.
There have been promises made in the past regarding a fiber-to-the-home initiative, which has led to frustration among members. Although we cannot change what was done in the past, we are committed to the future of our membership and ensuring this project is done right. We are confident this investment in all-fiber networks throughout our service territory will serve the needs of our members today and well into the future.