Photo Caption: PIE&G Connect celebrates a milestone by making its first ‘official’ fiber internet connection to residents of Onaway. Pictured (L to R) are Ruthanne Largent – Director of Broadband Operations, PIE&G members Deborah and James Palomaris, Jason MacArthur – Senior Service Technician, and Tom Sobeck – PIE&G CEO.
PIE&G Connect, a division of Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G), is pleased to announce that it has begun connecting high-speed broadband internet service to members in the Onaway area.
The first ‘official’ connection of residential fiber belongs to members James and Deborah Palomaris of Onaway. The Palomaris’ opted for PIE&G Connect’s fiber internet service after receiving service from another provider for several years, who advertised ‘high speed’ service, but actual speeds were frequently slow or completely offline. Deb commented, “We are so excited and happy to have fiber internet. We look forward to gaming and streaming television too so we can get rid of our expensive satellite service.”
The cooperative formed its broadband internet division in 2020 to launch a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network project that will provide access to internet and voice services to 30,000-plus homes and businesses across its northeast Michigan territory.
PIE&G Connect’s project will enable 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.
“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.”
PIE&G partnered with Conexon, a rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, to leverage Conexon’s design, construction management and support services to help with its broadband deployment.
About Presque Isle Electric & Gas Co-op (PIE&G):
PIE&G provides energy services to about 30,800 members across nine counties in northeast Michigan. With its headquarters in Onaway, PIE&G is one of the largest employers in Presque Isle County, with 102 full-time and several temporary employees servicing approximately 33,800 electric meters and 12,400 natural gas meters. The co-op maintains 4,909 miles of electric lines (consisting of 3,841 miles overhead and 1,068 miles underground) and 568 miles of gas pipeline. The cooperative was founded on the premise of providing outstanding essential services to rural areas when other companies refused to serve, a premise it continues to uphold and strives to improve upon today.