Fiber Internet Availability
Butler Rural Electric Cooperative, Cincinnati Bell partner on high-speed Internet project
February 24, 2020
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?
If you’d like to check if your address is included in this phase of the partnership, please click here to submit your address and contact information. A Cincinnati Bell representative will get back to you shortly. If you experience any issues with the form or do not receive a timely response, please email your name & address to email@example.com for assistance.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I know if my home is eligible for service? When an address becomes eligible, homeowners will be notified via mail from Cincinnati Bell that will include details on current offers at that time and how to order.
Will Cincinnati Bell services be available to all cooperative members? There will remain approx. 3,000 addresses in the cooperative's footprint that will not be included in this fiber build. We are evaluating additional addresses and exploring funding options for future phases of the partnership.
When will service be available? Fiber internet and home phone service will be available to a limited number of homes as early as July 2020. The majority of the 2,000+ addresses will be eligible for service in waves starting late 2020 and into 2021.
How do I know if my home or business will have access to Fioptics Internet as part of this phase of the partnership? Click here to submit your address and contact information to Cincinnati Bell.
How will the cooperative be involved in the build-out? Cooperative employees will not be involved in the fiber construction, maintenance or initial set-up in the home for the services, or have any Cincinnati Bell account information once services are installed. We will continue to communicate updates to members as the project progresses.
Will Cincinnati Bell Energy be part of the offering or partnership? No, Cincinnati Bell Energy (CBE) is available only to current Duke customers. By law, electric cooperative members are ineligible for this service. CBE solicitations are in no way related to our fiber internet partnership with Cincinnati Bell Telephone. Please know that we have not and will not share your information with Cincinnati Bell for marketing purposes. We are doing our best to get our members removed from their contact lists for this energy offering.
Are availability dates subject to change? Yes, while availability estimates can be provided, several factors can impact the exact date of availability including construction delays caused by severe weather, timing of permit approvals, etc.
What is your goal with the fiber partnership? 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.
Will anything be added to my Butler Rural bill? No, all Cincinnati Bell services will be billed directly by Cincinnati Bell. Cincinnati Bell offers printed bill, eBill, and also a mobile app to manage your account.
Is the cooperative getting into the fiber internet business? No.
Are there any cooperative member homes in Cincinnati Bell’s existing fiber footprint? Yes, there are some cooperative members who are already qualified for Fioptics, or may already be subscribers. Any address that is qualified will receive notification from Cincinnati Bell via mail when they are eligible to order, along with the services available.
How much will Cincinnati Bell service cost? Visit Cincinnati Bell's website for the most up-to-date pricing information. Please Note: Offers will change and service options will vary depending on location.
Will members be eligible for Fioptics TV through the partnership? Cincinnati Bell has franchise agreements in place that dictate where Fioptics TV can be offered, which are governed by the FCC and can vary by municipality, county, or even address. At this time, there are many addresses within the cooperative's territory that are not covered by the current Fioptics TV programming agreements, and a small amount that are. Cincinnati Bell has a partnership with YouTube TV to offer an alternative TV option for those not eligible for Fioptics TV. While there is no guarantee or timeline, Cincinnati Bell will continue to evaluate options and hope to expand the Fioptics TV programming footprint at some point in the future. More information and a link to sign up can be found at www.cincinnatibell.com/youtubetv.
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.
FCC Collecting Broadband Availability Experiences
On March 23, 2021, the FCC issued a news release announcing it will begin collecting first-hand accounts on broadband availability and service quality directly from consumers as part of its Broadband Data Collection program. A new webpage, www.fcc.gov/BroadbandData, explains the FCC’s program and provides direct links to consumer resources including a new “share your broadband experience” option.
Click here to share your broadband experience with the FCC. Your story will help to inform the work of the FCC’s cross-agency Broadband Data Task Force as it develops the tools needed to enhance the accuracy of existing broadband maps.
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.