In late 2018, Central Alabama Electric Cooperative’s (CAEC) Board of Trustees approved a plan to construct a fiber network for broadband to CAEC members who desperately need this service. This process involved creating a subsidiary (Central Access), wholly owned by CAEC. Our fiber construction began on Aug. 5, 2019, with a 400-mile fiber core to serve CAEC’s 24 substations and six offices.
Despite a global pandemic and material shortages, we have been dedicated to the cause of providing rural broadband to our members and are currently have over 15,000 homes and businesses receiving service. While still in the construction phase for several areas, we anticipate being able to supply service too the vast majority of CAEC members by the end of 2023.
You can visit www.centralaccess.com to view a map of our service area containing zones, grant areas and the initial construction core as well as anticipated construction and service dates for those zones and areas.
This has been a multi-year project, but we are even closer to providing broadband to those who no one else has been willing to serve.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions about Central Access.
Q. What speeds are offered and what monthly cost for residential customers?
300 Mbps Down/Up $59.99
500 Mbps Down/Up $79.99
1 Gbps Down/Up $99.99
Q. How do I find out if I’m eligible for service?
A. Visit www.centralaccess.com and enter your address. You will then be shown whether the address falls into one of four areas:
1. Service available now/Core Ring
2. Activated Zone
3. Zone requiring activation
4. APCo – outside current construction area
Q. I am in an area where service is available, what do I do?
A. It’s time to get you connected to Central Access! Call us at 1-888-706-4754 or register at www.centralaccess.com to get the process started.
Q. My address falls within an activated zone, what does this mean?
A.Your zone has activated and is either under construction or is in line for construction. Once service is ready to be installed, you will receive an email and/or postcard notifying you of the next steps.
Q. My address falls within a zone requiring activation, what does that mean?
A. Due to cost and time for construction in underground subdivisions, customer demand will determine our construction route and zone activation. The more people signed up in an area, the faster that zone will be added to the construction schedule. No community will be left out, and our goal remains to offer service to all CAEC members. You can see your registration level and register at
Q. I am in the APCo area/am outside the current construction plan, what does this mean?
A. Based on how close you are to our current construction path and service area, you may be eligible for service. But registering your address at www.centralaccess.com will help us determine future launch areas. We are currently investigating these areas and working on construction plans.
Q. Is there an installation fee?
A. No, there are no installation charges.
Q. I received my fiber drop, what is this and when can I expect service?
A. To expedite the installation process, Central Access contractors may have already begun the process of running the drop line from the pole to your home. The drop line attaches to a connection box, also known as a NID (Network Interface Device). The NID serves as the access point for the fiber from outside to inside the home.
As we complete the work needed to activate your service (which may involve continued construction), we will send you a notification to schedule your in-home installation at a time that’s convenient for you.
Q. How can I help get the word out to my neighbors about this project?
A. We can host virtual meetings with your neighborhood, church or civic club and we can provide you with printed materials, yard signs or a PDF that you can share. You can also follow and share our information on social media or simply send the www.centralaccess.com link to everyone you know and tell them to pre-register.
Q. Do you offer phone services?
A. Yes. Residential, nationwide, unlimited phone service for the continental United States is available for just $19.99/mo.
Q. Do you offer television services?
A. No. The lowest speed we offer is capable of allowing you to take advantage of the many streaming TV options available–opening up a whole new world of entertainment! We can help you choose the service that works best for you, including Roku streaming devices that you can purchase directly from us.
Q. I own a business, are there business services available?
A. Yes, with a variety of packages and custom solutions for any business size. Contact us at 1-888-706-4754 to learn more!