High speed internet service, check out what a neighbor co-op is doing!






February 24, 2020                                                                                                                                         Home

As the years go by, there are more and more reasons for people to use the internet.  Also, as the years go by, technology makes everything work faster and faster, using smaller and smaller pieces. 

The first internet connection most of us had was through Bellsouth, using our phone line.  This service is very slow and does not provide for many of the uses that the internet makes available – especially for students in school who need to work on line.

Satellites came along next.  This was an improvement, but still subject to weather-related downtime and satellite transmission issues.  Cable companies also provided internet service as part of their commercial package.

fiber optic cable

High speed microfiber is the most recent technology.  It comes directly to your home or place of business.  It uses existing power poles.  It provides speeds that equal those available in urban areas.  

In 2017, the Tennessee General Assembly, with strong support from Gov. Bill Haslam, passed the Tennessee Broadband Accessibility Act.  This act made it possible for rural electric cooperatives to get into the business of high speed internet.  Private companies have been slow to provide this service to rural areas because our population is so spread out, which would lower their profit rate.  Electric cooperatives work within rural areas on a daily basis and have done so for 75 years. 

Holston Electric Cooperative, which serves member-owners in Hawkins and Hamblen Counties, immediately got on board the high speed internet connection.  In 2017 the cooperative formed a corporation named “Holston Connect” to provide dependable and quality fiber-based internet services – as well as phone and cable.

Holston Connect (HC) now serves homes and businesses throughout the service area.   In speaking with numerous member-owners who have switched to HC, there are several reasons given for why people prefer HC:  a physical office in the community;  reliable service;  less expensive than previous internet provider;  a non-profit might be more concerned with service than a for-profit provider concerned about profits. 

Some sections of Hancock County have had high speed internet through Sunset Communications (now Point Broadband), based in Duffield, Virginia.  A recent grant from the state of Tennessee provided another 600 homes with high speed internet.

Powell Valley Electric Cooperative (PVEC) has now begun providing its own high speed internet service to homes through its PVEC Fiber program.   PVEC would like to make this available to all member-owners.  If you are interested in high speed internet and do not have service, please call PVEC at 423/626-5204.  Unlimited phone service is also available with PVEC Fiber. 

If you know of programs at other electric cooperatives that benefit member-owners, please let us know by email:  pvecmembervoices@gmail.com

Everyone needs to learn more about our electric cooperative.  For more information, go to pve.coop.

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