Ultra-fast, affordable, reliable broadband is getting closer for those receiving electricity from Meriwether Lewis Electric Cooperative. The utility’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Meriwether Lewis Connect, LLC is preparing to serve its first customers.
Residents in and around the city of Waverly will be hearing from MLConnect by the end of March about firming orders and scheduling installations.
“We’re testing and working on processes to put our best technology and customer-care foot forward. We’re more interested in doing it right than hitting a deadline, so we aren’t announcing a live date at this time,” says MLEC President and CEO Keith Carnahan. “I can tell you this, though, it is exciting to be this close.”
Construction on the $60 million project began in Waverly in October 2018 and expects to be live with broadband and phone for all MLEC members by late 2022. MLConnect’s Phase I includes more than 300 miles of main line fiber and helps secure a robust infrastructure is in place to serve the rural areas.
Currently, construction continues in Hohenwald for a potential “go live” date in April. By early March, construction crews will also be working in Centerville. New Johnsonville, Erin, Tennessee Ridge, McEwen, Linden and Lobelville (in this order) are on schedule for service by the end of 2019.
When designing Phase II, construction costs, existing infrastructure, time constraints, etc. will be considered when selecting areas. Another factor is the amount of interest in each neighborhood (number of online registrations). This is why registering on www.mlconnect.com or at your local MLEC office is so important.
“Just as electricity did in 1939, MLConnect offering GIG services in our rural hometowns will bring unprecedented potential for education, healthcare, economic development and more,” says Carnahan. “It’s proof you don’t have to live in a big city to be progressive. MLConnect will offer world class broadband with hometown service, and we’re proud of that.”