Rappahannock Electric Cooperative and Orange County Partner to Expand Fiber Communication Network
Fredericksburg, Va. – On Dec. 17, the Orange County Broadband Authority (OCBA) approved an agreement between the county and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) to lease capacity across 19 miles of fiber optic cable that REC is installing as a part of the Cooperative’s new Fiber Utility Network.
“REC’s fiber utility network provides our county the opportunity to bring broadband to more of our citizens quicker,” said Jim White, Chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors and Broadband Authority. “The OCBA is happy to announce this partnering arrangement with REC. This effort completes a county fiber optic loop supplying highly reliable connectivity for the public safety communications system. This project should also enable future opportunities for third parties or the county to provide high-speed Internet to homes and businesses. We are pleased to be taking this first step with REC and look forward to future collaboration.”
John Hewa, chief operating officer and vice president of corporate services for REC, elaborated, “REC’s investment in a fiber backbone has the potential to enable many advantages to REC’s member-owners and citizens of Orange County, including educational benefits, the potential for expanded economic development and an overall ease of access to information.” Hewa said, “The county’s use of a portion of the REC fiber backbone improves the economics of both projects. We look forward to this agreement with Orange County being the first of many similar arrangements in localities across the REC service area.”
REC recently kicked off the six-year fiber project that will bring benefits to its member-owners for many years to come. Across the 800 miles of planned construction, REC is installing additional fiber that will allow third parties, such as Orange County, to lease capacity on the REC network, enabling the extension of broadband solutions.
REC provides electric service to over 170,000 connections in parts of 22 Virginia counties. With its general office in Fredericksburg, Va., the Cooperative operates and maintains more than 17,000 miles of power lines through its service area, which ranges from the Blue Ridge Mountains to the tidal waters of the Chesapeake Bay.