Central Access: CAEC’s Broadband Subsidiary

In late 2018, CAEC’s Board of Trustees approved Phase I of a plan to construct a fiber network for broadband. Over the last several months, the co-op has finalized the study that determines which homes fall into the initial Phase I area.

You can now visit www.centralaccess.com and verify whether or not your address will be a part of this first phase.

As a reminder, our first goal for this project is to construct a 365-mile fiber optic ring, connecting our 24 electric substations and six offices, so this first phase will follow that path, connecting homes in those areas. Please know that our secondary goal is to be able to provide high speed internet to everyone in our territory who wants the service, which will take time to accomplish.

Construction will begin on the core to serve our facilities this summer. As part of this process, we will begin building out to those members who are in the Phase I area and who have already indicated an interest in service by paying the $25 commitment fee. This step will expedite the process of connecting homes to high-speed broadband once the service is active, and you can still currently sign up at this price by visiting www.centralaccess.com.

Additionally, whether your home falls in the Phase I area or not, please continue to encourage your friends and neighbors to indicate their desire for service by committing at www.centralaccess.com. This will prove vital as the project enters additional phases.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about the broadband project as well as the goals for Phase I. For the most up-to-date information or to pre-register for service for $25, visit www.centralaccess.com.

You can also learn more about this project and how it came to be through our recent press release.

Q. What will be the monthly cost to customers?

A. The initial cost estimate is $59.99/month for residential internet service.

Q. What speed will be offered?

A. At a minimum, speeds will exceed the FCC definition of broadband, which is 25 Mbps downstream/3Mbps upstream. Most average speeds will be up to 200 Mbps up and down (no data caps). Up to 1Gbps will be available at a higher cost. Additional options will be available for business customers.

Q. What’s the project startup time?

A. We expect construction to begin summer 2019.

Q. When will I get high-speed internet at my home?

A. Phase I of the broadband project includes the build-out of a 365-mile fiber core that will connect our 24 substations and six offices, and includes additional fiber to serve beyond our needs. Phase I also includes working toward serving those members in our core ring.

As this Phase takes off, and the model is proven, we can move to Phase II of the project. We need to reach the goal of a 35% take rate from those within this first phase in order to move forward. This will be a multi-year project, but taking this first step right now gets us closer to providing broadband to those members who no one has been willing to serve.

Q. How far out will service be available?

A. You can visit www.centralaccess.com and enter your address to see if you fall in Phase I of the project. Other areas and phases will be added as Phase I reaches its 35% take rate.

Q. Will this create jobs for the co-op or will this be contracted out?

A. Initially, a combination of CAEC employees and contractors will be used for various processes.

Q. If I am not a member, can I still get service?

A. Based on how close you are to our construction path, you may be eligible for service. Enter in your address atwww.centralaccess.com to see if you fall in Phase I.

Q. What happens to the $25 I paid for participating in the initial survey?

A. As construction moves forward, member interest will help determine which communities get connected next.

Paying the $25 for the survey has already placed you on the pre-registration list for service and will also count toward helping us to determine demand in your community.

This amount will take the place of any future connection fees.

While Phase II has not begun, we are already accepting pre-registration for the areas outside of the Phase I construction zone.

Q. How can I help get the word out to my neighbors about this project?

A. Invite us out to a neighborhood, church or civic club meeting!

We can also provide you with printed materials or a PDF that you can share.

Send the www.centralaccess.com link to everyone you know and tell them to pre-register.