Butler Electric Cooperative Selects Conexon for FTTH Network in Kansas


Conexon will design and manage construction for a fiber-to-the-home network in South Central Kansas, enabling co-op to deliver multi-gigabit-speed internet to members.



KANSAS CITY, MO – Butler Electric Cooperative, based in El Dorado, Kansas, has selected Conexon, a rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, to deliver comprehensive fiber broadband support services for the cooperative's fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network.

The $21 million project, representing the state's first electric cooperative fiber broadband network, is partially being funded through a $10 million Kansas Capital Projects grant and will deliver FTTH internet access to approximately 4,300 rural Kansans. Service will be offered through Butler Electric's broadband division, Velocity.

Conexon will provide network design, construction project management, engineering, marketing, and operations support, enabling Velocity to deliver high-speed internet to homes and businesses across the southern portion of Butler Electric territory, from Mulvane to Leon, including some off-system locations contained within the Kansas Capital grant-eligible area. The co-op's goal is to ultimately expand fiber broadband access to all of Butler Electric's members.

Since 2018, Butler Electric and Velocity have offered broadband services to members using a combination of transmission media, including fixed wireless and fiber. The co-op's leadership team and board made the decision to invest in a FTTH network for all members because it is considered the gold standard of broadband transmission. The Velocity fiber-optic network will give members access to symmetrical multi-gigabit internet capabilities.

"The team at Butler understands that rural Kansans now require reliable and affordable internet, and we have worked over the past several years to provide this critical connectivity," Butler Electric CEO Kevin Brownlee said. "After conducting extensive research and analysis, we are confident fiber will meet the connectivity needs of our members now and into the future."

The network will be built over Butler Electric's existing electric distribution infrastructure using Conexon's architecture that enables co-ops to efficiently provide reliable and affordable internet services for members. Those who live in the current project area and are using Velocity's fixed wireless technology will be transitioned to the FTTH network as construction reaches their area. Construction began in summer 2023, with the initial customer connections anticipated to be in fall 2023. The overall project is expected to be complete within two years.

"This partnership with Butler Electric represents our first project in Kansas," said Randy Klindt, Conexon founding partner. "We are excited to work with Kevin and his team as they deliver the advantages of high-speed internet to the south-central portion of the state."



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