EREC, Conexon announce first high-speed Internet customer in rural Escambia County, Fla.

Published 9:04 am Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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Escambia River Electric Cooperative (EREC) and Conexon Connect, the internet service provider arm of rural fiber-optic network design and construction management leader, Conexon, announced Aug. 15 the connection of their first customer to gigabit-speed internet.

EREC Members in Escambia County, Fla. will be the first to go live on the fiber broadband network called Connect, powered by Escambia River Electric Cooperative. This means rural Florida residents now have access to Connect’s 2 Gbps service internet that is among the fastest and most robust in the nation.

EREC and Conexon Connect announced its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) project in January of 2023 to launch and deploy a nearly 1,800-mile fiber network providing high-speed internet access to more than 12,000 homes and businesses in Escambia River and Santa Rosa counties.

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“We are rolling out this fiber network faster than expected,” EREC CEO Ryan Campbell said in a release. “This first connection represents another big step toward bridging the digital divide, a cornerstone for telemedicine and remote learning with benefits to business and the economy for our rural area.”

A crowd gathered at the residence for a ceremonial photo to celebrate the long-awaited connection. Those in attendance were Representative Michelle Salzman, Escambia County Commissioner Stephen Barry, Representatives from EREC and Conexon Connect as well as William Reynolds, first fiber member and publisher of

“This is a big step for our neighbors throughout the EREC territory as true high speed fiber internet comes to North Escambia. From video conferencing, to telemedicine, to educational opportunities, to simply being able to watch a video without buffering, we now have internet not limited by our choice to live in a rural area,” Reynolds sai. “We now have the same opportunities as people in major cities.”

Once all EREC members are connected in Escambia County, the next phase of the project will commence to connect EREC members in Santa Rosa County. The FTTH project is expected to be completed within two to three years and together, Escambia River Electric Cooperative and Conexon Connect are investing approximately $50 million to build the network.

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