Central Virginia Electric Cooperative (CVEC) will be launching its broadband service with Firefly Fiber using networking tools from Calix. The service, which will be available to all CVEC members, will deliver symmetrical gigabit speeds, whole home managed Wi-Fi, and voice service.
Rural electric cooperatives have emerged as a key growth partner for the expansion of rural broadband services. CVEC is launching a five-year, $110 million project to build 4,600 miles of fiber across portions of 14 counties in the region. The network will be leased by Firefly Fiber Broadband, a start-up Internet service provider (ISP) that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of CVEC.
Calix will provide the network infrastructure for FireFly’s services.
The first connections are planned in Appomattox, Virginia at the end of 2018. Upon sign up, all Firefly Fiber Broadband subscribers will receive Managed Wi-Fi as part of their service. The wifi will use Calix GigaCenters which provides carrier-class wifi through an 804Mesh satellite.
CVEC is also improving its smart grid capabilities with the new network. The cooperative will now be able to collect data in real time and build more efficiency and cost savings into its utility delivery as well.
CVEC expects to eventually connect all of its 37,000 electricity subscribers to the network. The cooperative will be able to provide broadband services to both residential and business customers in addition to community institutions.