Why is Firelands doing this survey?
As part of Firelands Electric’s in-depth exploration into the practical and financial aspects of launching a separate broadband company, the cooperative wants to gain a better understanding of the demand and current availability of high-speed internet in our service territory. This survey, which is just a small part of this process, collects additional data and information than previous surveys that have been conducted.
Why is Firelands considering a separate broadband company?
Firelands Electric, along with many rural electric cooperatives across the United States, are considering deploying fiber to fulfill a need within their service territories. Fiber is the ultimate broadband connectivity option with the ability to provide members with more reliable internet service.
Firelands’ potential expansion into fiber internet service isn’t about increasing our bottom line. It’s about building and strengthening our community. Firelands belongs to our members — it always has and always will.
If Firelands decides to offer internet service, what type of service would be available?
With Firelands, you would not just be choosing an internet service provider, you would be building the business you own. Fiber internet offers speeds up to one Gigabit and beyond per second — which is 1,000 Megabits per second, or 100 times faster than the average speed most Americans have in their homes.
Where can I obtain more information on the type of internet service Firelands would be offering?
If/when it becomes available, you can visit the cooperative’s website, www.firelandsec.com, to declare your interest in having high-speed fiber internet in your neighborhood and sign up for service.
How would Firelands’ service and price compare to other providers?
Firelands’ broadband through fiber to the home would deliver internet access up to one Gigabit per second — which is the fastest speed available anywhere. At this speed, you can download a two-hour, high-definition movie in 25 seconds. Firelands exists solely to improve the quality of life of our members and the communities we serve by providing services that are safe, reliable, and competitively priced.
Who would be funding this project?
Firelands would have a compelling advantage when providing broadband internet access to the communities served by the cooperative. A joint venture, currently involving four Ohio electric cooperatives, would acquire the necessary grants and other federal funding for the broadband project, with minimal capital from the electric cooperative. A separate broadband subsidiary of the cooperative would be operated under the same guiding principles and core values.
When does Firelands expect to begin offering internet service?
The cooperative continues to research and develop financial models that will help guide us in this major financial decision. At this point, Firelands Electric does not have a clear vision of what this decision will be, or when it will occur. If a decision is made by the cooperative’s board of trustees, Firelands’ ultra-fast broadband service would be available in select areas to start. As a fiber build-out would take several years, we would remain committed to expanding this quality of life-enhancing service throughout our electric service territory.