Located in Orleans, the electric utility cooperative serves more than 8,000 members in Orange, Martin, Lawrence, Washington and Crawford counties. For more information about the cooperative visit www.myremc.coop.
ORLEANS — If all goes as planned, a large portion of Orange County — as well as some residents in Lawrence and Martin counties — could have high-speed internet service available as soon as May.
Orange County Fiber, a division of Orange County REMC, recently announced phase two of its fiber to the home project across its service territory. Construction began in early September on phase one and now phase two is planned to begin around April 2019.
Phase two, which covers a large portion of Orange County — from Mitchell west to Hindostan, then south to Abydel, east covering parts of Valeene, then back north catching parts of Leipsic — will give access to 2,300 members that will have high-speed internet service available as soon as May 2019.
Construction began in early September on phase one.
“Members should encourage their friends and neighbors to go to: www.orangecountyfiber.coop and fill out the survey and sign up for the service,” said Matt Deaton, general manager and CEO of Orange County REMC, “because zones with the highest percentage of sign-ups, will be the first ones to get access.” Deaton explained while phase two is set, the first zone in phase two to get fiber will depend on how many people have signed up online. “The zones with the most sign-ups in phase two should start being connected by May, while those with the fewer percentage of sign-ups should be connected by early 2020.
With phase one already under construction, drops to the home began in late November. Phase one will give access to 1,250 members who are south of Orleans around the Roosevelt Street area; they should be connected by April. Members in these areas will have internet speeds available up to 1 gigabit per second with no limit or restrictions. There are four phases to the project.
The estimated cost of the project is $30 million. The cooperative hopes to apply for grants to offset a substantial part of the expense, minimizing risk to existing members. Members of Orange County REMC will not have any changes to their electric bills because of the project.
If you are an Orange County REMC member and are not in phase one or phase two, REMC asks members to go to www.orangecountyfiber.coop and sign-up. As the backbone and main-line distribution fiber lines are being completed, Orange County REMC will be contacting members along that route to schedule for connecting fiber to each member’s home. This last major step is called a “drop.” The drop will bring the fiber cable across the member’s property to a box that will be mounted somewhere on their home. Once installed and tested, the final step is for an Orange County Fiber employee to install the indoor box/router, test the equipment and perform the steps necessary to begin service for the member.
“We’re very excited about this project. Not only will this boost the quality of life and have a positive impact on our local communities, but we are also fulfilling a need by providing a service to our members that they would not otherwise have,” Deaton said. “Communities within our service territory are underserved, and we understand the positive role Orange County REMC can play in meeting the needs of our members”.