Glades Electric Cooperative Partners with Conexon Connect to Bring Broadband to Rural Florida

Partnership will deliver high-speed internet access to homes and businesses across four counties with Connect, powered by Glades Electric Cooperative, fiber network.

  • Conexon

MOORE HAVEN, Fla. -- Conexon Connect, the internet service provider formed by rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader Conexon, has been selected by Glades Electric Cooperative to deliver high-speed fiber internet access for rural Floridians within the cooperative's service territory. 

The cooperative is partnering with Connect to launch and deploy a nearly 2,600-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. The Connect, powered by Glades Electric Cooperative, network will deliver reliable, affordable high-speed internet service to homes and businesses across portions of Glades, Hendry, Highlands and Okeechobee counties. The goal is to expand fiber broadband access to all of the co-op's approximately 13,400 members.

"The opportunity to partner with a co-op such as Glades Electric takes us right back to the heart of why we do this," said Randy Klindt, Conexon Founding Partner and Conexon Connect CEO. "We look forward to delivering exceptional multi-gigabit internet service to unserved and underserved homes and businesses in the rural heartland of Florida, providing access to the connectivity they need."

Glades Electric's nearly $50 million network is expected to be completed within three years. The fiber-optic network will offer members access to symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) multi-gigabit internet capabilities – among the fastest and most robust in the nation.

"The abrupt change in our lifestyles during the pandemic brought to light how far behind in broadband access Florida's Heartland has been left," said Jeff Brewington, Glades Electric Cooperative CEO. "We began to research how Glades Electric could be part of the solution, which led us to Conexon to help us bridge the gap in a very affordable way and continue our mission of 'Neighbors Working for Neighbors.'"

In addition to fiber broadband, Connect, powered by Glades Electric Cooperative, will provide HD-quality phone service and enable the future benefits of smart grid capabilities to the electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and more.

"Over the past several years, I've heard people analogize rural broadband to the rural electrification movement of the 1930s and 1940s," Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers said. "To us, it isn't an analogy; it's a reality. The same companies that built electric networks across the state are building broadband networks. After decades of failure by the telephone and cable industries, electric co-ops in Florida are stepping up and stepping in to solve the digital divide. We're proud to join Glades Electric Cooperative in this endeavor."

Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives and other organizations committed to serving their communities with fiber broadband. With its clients, the company has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber, builds more than 50,000 miles of fiber annually and has connected more than 500,000 rural Americans to fiber to the home.

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