NEXT Expanding to All Members
9:59AM March 18, 2019
The North Arkansas Electric Cooperative Board of Directors has approved the expansion of NEXT’s fiber-to-the-home network to all of the cooperative’s territory.
NAEC formed the telecommunications subsidiary NEXT, Powered by NAEC in November 2015 to provide internet with speeds of up to one gigabit to three pilot areas in Baxter and Fulton counties.
“The pilot project was a great success,” CEO Mel Coleman said. “We exceeded our goal of subscribers, and many have shared with us the benefits true broadband internet has brought to their families and businesses.”
NAEC serves more than 36,600 member accounts across almost 5,000 miles of line. NEXT internet as well as phone and television services should reach all of them in approximately five years.
The fiber-to-the-home network will be built in phases. Work is under way to determine which areas will be included in Phase Two. Potential subscribers in Phase Two will be mailed a packet on NEXT’s services once they can subscribe.
“We hear daily from members wanting high-speed internet and the economic and educational benefits it can bring,” Coleman said. “We are excited to be our members’ local source for reliable, affordable broadband internet moving forward.”