Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G) has been awarded approximately $11 million through the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) Phase I auction, to deploy high-speed broadband service to its members and communities.
The cooperative intends to launch a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network project, providing access to internet and voice services to 30,000-plus homes and businesses across its northeast Michigan territory. Plans are still in the early stages of development. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
The RDOF funding will enable PIE&G to deploy the high-speed network in a timely and cost-effective manner, enabling members to realize the economic, educational and community benefits of reliable, affordable world-class internet service. The Co-op’s multi-year deployment will encompass 3,220 miles of fiber, offering access to FTTH broadband throughout its entire territory. The initial project will focus on PIE&G members who receive electric service, as the fiber will be strung on PIE&G’s existing utility poles.
Through the fiber network, rural communities served by PIE&G will have easier and more reliable access to the many services made so necessary by the pandemic – distance learning for kids, telecommuting options for working parents, virtual connections to friends and family, telemedicine and more.
“Our members trust us to provide energy and the other services necessary to sustain and improve their quality of life,” said PIE&G CEO Tom Sobeck. “In today’s world, reliable broadband certainly counts as a necessary service. Our success in the RDOF auction was pivotal in our ability to provide it affordably and in a timely fashion. We look forward to leveraging that funding to benefit all of our members.”
PIE&G engaged Conexon, a rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader to secure RDOF funds. PIE&G will continue to work with Conexon, leveraging the company’s design, construction management and support services for its broadband deployment.
“Tom and the team at PIE&G have demonstrated their commitment to bringing fiber broadband to the communities they serve, evidenced by their efforts in the recent RDOF auction,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “We appreciate their participation in our consortium, congratulate them on their successful funding efforts and look forward to working with them on this project.”
More information about our fiber project can be found on our Fiber Internet tab on our home page of this website or click here.