Fiber Internet Availability

February 24, 2020 Update


Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Cincinnati Bell partner on high-speed Internet project

Butler Rural Electric Cooperative and Cincinnati Bell are pleased to announce a new partnership through which Cincinnati Bell will expand its fiber network and begin delivering high-speed Fioptics Internet to parts of Butler Rural Electric Cooperative’s electric service territory this year.

Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CBB) is a telecommunications service provider headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati Bell delivers integrated communications solutions to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks including high-speed internet, video, voice and data. Cincinnati Bell provides service in areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Hawaii. In addition, enterprise customers across the United States and Canada rely on CBTS and OnX, wholly-owned subsidiaries, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions.

Cincinnati Bell has already launched Phase 1 of the partnership, which will make Fioptics Internet available to more than 2,000 additional Butler Rural Electric Cooperative members over the next 16 months. Cincinnati Bell and Butler Rural Electric Cooperative will notify members as addresses become eligible for Fioptics Internet. Cincinnati Bell and Butler Rural Electric Cooperative are evaluating additional business and residential addresses for future phases of the partnership.

Cincinnati Bell will also provide fiber-based services to Butler Rural Electric Cooperative’s substations and other equipment to enhance reliability.  

“Cincinnati Bell has been connecting businesses and customers for more than 145 years, and our innovative partnership with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative continues this tradition,” said Jason Praeter, President of Cincinnati Bell’s Entertainment & Communications business. “We are proud to be working with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative on this important initiative that will support economic development opportunities for businesses, and improve connectivity for residents.”

The partnership continues Butler Rural Electric Cooperative’s commitment to bring high-speed Internet access to underserved areas of its service territory, and aligns with the State of Ohio’s goal to expand broadband Internet access in underserved areas of the state. Broadband Internet plays a critical role in driving economic development opportunities, bridging the digital divide, and supporting the public sector’s commitment to more efficient government.

“Partnering with Cincinnati Bell to bring high-speed fiber-based Internet to our members fulfills the cooperative’s mission of improving the quality of life in our communities and enhancing our electric reliability,” said Michael L. Sims, Butler Rural Electric Cooperative’s General Manager. “We are excited to be working with a local broadband provider. We know Cincinnati Bell is a committed partner in helping to bring fiber not only to our substations, but to our members and surrounding communities as well. The telecommunications industry is fast-changing, but we will continue to work with Cincinnati Bell until the cooperative’s members have access to fiber-based Internet service.”

For more information, please click here.
 

How do I know if my home or business will have access to Fioptics Internet as part of this phase of the partnership?

Check back soon! We are working on a database to release information on which locations will have access to Fioptics through this phase of the partnership.

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About Cincinnati Bell Inc.

With headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CBB) delivers integrated communications solutions to residential and business customers over its fiber-optic and copper networks including high-speed internet, video, voice and data. Cincinnati Bell provides service in areas of Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Hawaii. In addition, enterprise customers across the United States and Canada rely on CBTS and OnX, wholly-owned subsidiaries, for efficient, scalable office communications systems and end-to-end IT solutions. For more information, please visit www.cincinnatibell.com.


Fiber Internet Project Background

Over the last several years, we have increasingly recognized the significant issues with the lack of acceptable high-speed Internet access in our area.

Our members and communities could be left behind. Insufficient internet speeds in our area can cause businesses to struggle or leave town, declining home values and stalled economic development. Young people’s education is jeopardized, and students move away for college and never move back. Senior citizens may not be able to stay in their homes without access to telemedicine. Endless aspects of life could be impacted; and our members began asking— and in some cases, begging—us for help.

Our current five-year construction work plan included installing fiber internet to all 16 of our substations for operational purposes. While development for this project began, we started looking for synergies that might be available to facilitate the expansion of fiber internet to members’ homes and businesses.

In early 2018, we met with local internet providers to explore their options for installing fiber internet service to the 16 substations. After initial meetings, it was confirmed that local broadband provider, Cincinnati Bell, could be a great partner in helping to bring fiber not only to the substations, but to our members and surrounding communities as well.

As it stands today, we estimate that over half of our members (approximately 6,000) lack access to adequate broadband internet service. Beyond these 6,000 homes and businesses, there are other friends, neighbors, family members, and local businesses throughout our community that are also struggling due to the digital divide.

We are committed to our mission of improving the quality of life for our members and community. We will continue to work to ensure that all members have access to acceptable high-speed internet. We appreciate your support.


Connected Nation Ohio

Connected Nation Ohio, a non-profit and subsidiary of Connected Nation, is working to bring the benefits of universal broadband to Ohio. Technology, especially widespread access, adoption, and use of broadband, improves all areas of life. CN Ohio works together with the State of Ohio to advance broadband issues in communities across the state and invites you to join in changing communities and lives.

CN Ohio's mission is to change lives through technology. It is leading the effort to increase high-speed internet access, adoption, and use to diversify the economy and ensure Ohio's competitiveness in the connected global economy of the twenty-first century.

Help close the Digital Divide in Ohio.
Click here to access the Connected Community Data Portal and share information about the internet connectivity at your home or business.


Frequently Asked Questions

What can I do to speed up the construction of fiber to my home?

Please check with your local internet providers to see what their plans are for your area.


Is fiber internet currently available for my home or business?

It could be! Please check with your local internet providers to see if it's already available.


Is the cooperative getting into the fiber internet business?

No.


What is your goal with the fiber project?

Our goal is to see that fiber internet is available and accessible to our members. It is part of the cooperative’s mission statement to improve the quality of life for our members and community.


Are you aware that cooperatives in other parts of Ohio and the country are also looking at or providing fiber internet?

Yes. While each cooperative has it's own unique goals and challenges, we continue to share resources and information and abide by the cooperative principle, "Cooperation Among Cooperatives". In the end, we are committed to doing what is best for our members and local community.