Conexon Leverages Strategic Partner Osmose Utilities Services to Position Electric Cooperatives for Rapid Broadband Deployment Success
Collaboration ensures seamless, on-time make-ready assessment/design and construction prep, equips co-ops to deploy fiber-to-the-home networks within accelerated funding deadlines
KANSAS CITY, Mo., Aug. 21, 2020 – Rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon and leading infrastructure/asset health and system management service provider Osmose Utilities Services are working closely to ensure expedited and efficient make-ready design and construction preparation for electric cooperatives launching fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks.
As multiple state and federal funding initiatives aimed at expanding rural broadband availability drive an increased number of projects, Conexon is assembling the resources and expertise that enable those cooperatives to meet the accelerated milestones and timelines required for the funding. A critical part of deployment is the pre-construction make-ready process, a thorough evaluation of the infrastructure (pole) condition and its ability to accommodate fiber, repair when needed and designs to guide construction. Maintaining construction schedules and budgets depend heavily on successful make-ready. Osmose brings to bear the resource capacity and the latest in technology to rapidly complete assessments and needed repairs, paving the way for construction crews.
“Conexon has proven to be a valued partner with a shared commitment to help America’s electric cooperatives,” said Cody Phipps, President and CEO of Osmose. “We have worked together for the past year to ensure our joint processes are efficient for utilities and effectively leverage our resources, technologies and nation-wide scale. We look forward to creating a simple, worry-free process for utilities across the country as they embark on this vital initiative to bring fiber to homes in rural and underserved areas.”
“Osmose and Conexon have long been trusted partners of Cumberland Electric Membership Corporation (CEMC),” Mark T. Cook, PE, CEMC Broadband Manager said. “With an aggressive project scope and schedule, and complex make-ready needs, we have depended on their collaboration – our Conexon on-site project management and Osmose make-ready teams – to keep our project on schedule without costly construction start delays. Our expectations for the first phase of our project have been more than met.”
Conexon and Osmose are working with cooperatives across the country, including several Mississippi electric power associations (EPAs) who have received millions in CARES Act grant funding to fast-start FTTH construction in unserved and under-served areas. Customers are to be connected by the end of 2020. In addition, Conexon continues to work with cooperatives well-positioned to receive federal funding in early 2021. Those projects will also require rapid start and scalability as cooperatives build the networks to bring world-class high-speed internet to their rural communities.
Conexon and Osmose have developed a “go-fast blueprint” to optimize the constructability and make-ready process, allowing for quick start-up and minimal time to hit desired production rates. The combination of quality surveying, sound design decisions, and speed are critical for a successful project to provide full visibility for the construction phase and stay well ahead of the build plan and thus reduce chance of delays.
“Make-ready can be one of the biggest bottlenecks in a FTTH project,” Conexon Partner Randy Klindt said. “That’s not the case with Osmose. The team, starting at the top with Cody, has an unmatched understanding of the electric industry, which allows them to maintain an extremely rapid pace of make-ready engineering. We know from experience that we can expect a smooth and efficient make-ready process which sets the stage for rapid construction.”
Through partnerships with industry leaders such as Osmose, leveraging its buying power, and gaining vendor/material commitments, Conexon has established an infrastructure and ecosystem to ensure cooperatives meet aggressive funding milestones and requirements, and economically deploy fiber in their communities.
Conexon works with Rural Electric Cooperatives to bring fiber to the home in rural communities. The company is comprised of professionals who have worked in electric cooperatives and the telecommunications industry, and offer decades of individual experience in business planning, building networks, marketing and selling telecommunications. Conexon offers its electric cooperative clients end-to-end broadband deployment and operations support, from a project’s conception all the way through to its long-term sustainability. It works with clients to analyze economic feasibility, secure financing, design the network, manage construction, provide operational support, optimize business performance and determine optimal partnerships. To date, Conexon has assisted more than 160 electric cooperatives, 40 of which are deploying fiber networks, with nearly 100,000 connected fiber-to-the-home subscribers across the U.S., and has secured more than a quarter of a billion dollars in federal and state grants for its clients.
About Osmose Utilities Services, Inc.
Founded in 1934, Osmose is the market-leading provider of critical inspection, mobile contact voltage testing, maintenance and restoration services for electric transmission, distribution and telecommunications utilities in the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Headquartered near Atlanta in Peachtree City, GA, the company employs 4,000 people. Osmose’s field technicians, professional engineers, wood scientists and corrosion experts utilize their expertise to identify and solve issues to make utility infrastructure safer, longer-lasting and more resilient while lowering the total cost of ownership. Osmose is a portfolio company of EQT Infrastructure. Learn more at https://www.osmose.com/