Roanoke Electric Co-op is resuming its Roanoke Connect broadband internet deployment, with the goal of providing a faster and more robust “fiber-to-the-premises” communications network throughout the region.
Installations had been curtailed in recent months, as the co-op revamped its strategy in consultation with a new engineering firm. The previous rollout was centered around fixed wireless “last mile” technology as the method of delivering internet connections over the airwaves. The co-op’s revised plan calls for “fiber-to-the-premises” broadband, offering homes and businesses far faster connection speeds and higher bandwidth.
The upgraded high-speed internet service and equipment is scheduled to be rolled out in October. The co-op is offering free installation for member-owners who register soon. “For those of you who have already signed up, thank you,” said Curtis Wynn, the co-ops’ president, and CEO. “For those still considering it, now is the time to register to lock in the free installation of your new high-speed internet service.”
As before, the network will have the ability to power smart devices, such as smart thermostats, to monitor energy consumption and ultimately reduce energy costs for member-owners. However, the new planned broadband network, with fiber optic cables running directly to homes and businesses, offers added benefits. It will be structured to offer new products and services in the future, regardless of the internet speed requirements.
“By deploying this fiber optic technology, we will be able to provide faster and more reliable connection speeds,” Wynn said. “Our primary goal remains the same, and that is to offer you both high-speed internet and savings on your electric bill.”
While broadband deployment efforts have not resumed yet, the co-op has opened internet hot spots in the five counties they serve including: Bertie, Hertford, Gates, Northampton and Halifax. So far, hot spots have been installed at the following locations:
- Roanoke Electric Cooperative – 518 NC Hwy 561 W, Aulander, NC 27805
- The Roanoke Center – 409 N Main St, Rich Square, NC 27869
- Mapleton Substation – 307 Collin Rd, Murfreesboro, NC 27855
- Jackson Substation – 540 Mt Carmel Rd, Jackson, NC 27845
- Roanoke Rapids Substation – 1205 Three Bridges Rd, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870
- Cool Spring Baptist Church – 1400 NC Hwy 137, Eure, NC 27935
- Tarheel Bar-B-Q – 9 US Hwy 13 S, Eure, NC 27935
To log on to the hot spot, simply park at one of the locations and search for Wi-Fi connections. The hot spot is listed as Roanoke Connect Public Wi-Fi and there is no password. These are available for everyone’s use from 7 am to 8 pm every day.