Fiber Internet Availability
Update- April 27, 2022 Press Release
Butler Rural Electric Cooperative expands partnership with altafiber to provide access to 5,000 addresses in Butler, Hamilton, Preble, Montgomery Counties
CINCINNATI – altafiber is pleased to announce an expanded partnership with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative that will bring gigabit high-speed broadband fiber Internet access to an additional 5,000 addresses in Butler County, Hamilton County, Preble County, and Montgomery County beginning in the first half of 2023.
Butler Rural Electric Cooperative and altafiber partnered in 2020 to bring fiber-based Internet to approximately 2,000 member locations, along with the cooperative’s substations and switching equipment. That project was completed in 2021. The expanded partnership announced today will extend altafiber’s network to the remaining 2,800 Butler Rural Electric Cooperative member addresses. In addition, altafiber will also build fiber to 2,200 addresses in these counties that are not part of the Butler Rural Electric Cooperative.
Butler Rural Electric Cooperative is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative located in Oxford, Ohio. The cooperative serves members in portions of Butler County, Hamilton County, Preble County, and Montgomery County.
“This initiative has been a huge success. The cooperative has greater operational flexibility to improve reliability, and we have received tremendously positive feedback from members whose children are now able to access and do their assignments from home,” said Tom Wolfenbarger, General Manager of Butler Rural Electric Cooperative.
“We also understand that there is more work to do, and we are so pleased that our partnership with altafiber is going to continue and bring connectivity to all of our customers.”
altafiber is the leading supplier of fiber-based services in Greater Cincinnati and has invested more than $1 billion into expanding its fiber network across the region. Broadband Internet plays a critical role in driving economic development opportunities, creating digital equity, and supporting the public sector’s commitment to more efficient government.
“High-speed Internet is essential for individuals and families to access educational, healthcare, and employment opportunities. It is also a key part of economic development efforts to retain and attract companies,” said Jason Praeter, President and General Manager of altafiber’s Network Division.
“We are thrilled to build on this innovative partnership with Butler Rural Electric Cooperative and deliver access to reliable connectivity to all of its customers, as well as additional addresses in Butler County, Preble County and Montgomery County.”
Fast and reliable broadband internet service is vital in today's world. Broadband benefits include improved health care, online learning opportunities, increased productivity for local businesses, higher housing values, and consumer savings through access to competitive online sellers.
Starting in 2017, our 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 substations. After initial meetings, it was confirmed that local broadband provider, Cincinnati Bell (now known as "altafiber"), would be a great partner in helping to bring fiber not only to our substations, but to our members and surrounding communities as well.
In February 2020, the cooperative and Cincinnati Bell announced a partnership to expand broadband internet service to all 16 cooperative substations. Through this partnership and build, fiber lines would be routed to also bring fiber internet service to over 2,000 of our members' homes and businesses. The fiber build started in April of 2020 and was completed by fall 2021.
As it stands today, we estimate that thousands of our members still lack access to adequate broadband internet service. Beyond these 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 our members have access to reliable high-speed internet.