Tri-County REC selects broadband engineering partner

Tri-County REC selects broadband engineering partner

MANSFIELD, PA (Jan. 9, 2019) — Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative has selected Vantage Point Solutions for engineering and project management services for its upcoming fiber-to-the-home broadband deployment

Vantage Point will oversee a multi-year project to construct over 3,250 miles of fiber optic line across Tri-County REC’s service territory in northcentral Pennsylvania. Physical construction of the fiber network is expected to begin later this year, initially in the townships surrounding Coudersport.

Tri-Co Connections, Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative’s high-speed internet subsidiary, will make broadband internet service available to more than 16,500 cooperative members in Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Lycoming, Clinton, McKean and Cameron counties over the next 6 years.

“This is a critical step in moving forward on this project,” said Craig Eccher, Tri-County president and CEO. “Our goal is to bring high-speed broadband to rural communities, just like we did for electricity. Vantage Point has the experience to bring that vision to fruition.”

Tri-County previously worked with Vantage Point to secure over $32 million in funding for this project through the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund Phase II Auction. Additional funding for the $77 million project was secured through a $1.5 million grant through the Pennsylvania Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project program, and a $15.6 million grant through the Pennsylvania Broadband Investment Incentive Program.

“We believe better broadband means better lives,” said Larry Thompson, CEO of Vantage Point Solutions. “That’s our rallying cry. It’s why we do what we do, especially in rural areas, which are more likely to be underserved.

“We’re excited to work with Tri-County,” he added. “It’s an area that hasn’t been well-served for broadband access, and we get to help them bring high-speed broadband to their members.”

With an engineering partner now secured, the project has moved into the engineering and design phase. Construction will begin this summer, with the first customers receiving service later in the year.

Additional information about Tri-Co Connections and the fiber-to-the-home project, including a frequently-asked-questions page, can be found by visiting the Tri-County REC website, tri-countyrec.com.

Vantage Point Solutions, based in Mitchell, S.D., is a national provider of engineering and consulting services for the broadband/telecommunications and financial industries. An employee-owned company, Vantage Point combines professional engineering, technical expertise and extensive regulatory knowledge to design technically advanced and economically viable solutions customized for each client.

Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, with headquarters in Mansfield, Pa., has provided electric service to the residents of northcentral Pennsylvania since 1937.