September 14, 2021
Dear Cookson Hills Electric Member,
It’s hard to believe that the summer of 2021 is nearing the end. While the past 18 months have been challenging for everyone as we learn to manage life in a pandemic-altered world, it has also been a very exciting time for the stakeholders of Cookson Hills Electric as we continue making progress on our fiber-to-the-home project. Even in a world of uncertainty, I am hopeful that better times are in sight!
On that note, I wanted to give you an update on our Cookson Hills Connect high-speed fiber internet project. Let me start by saying we are grateful for – but not surprised by – your support for this massive project. When complete, this world-class broadband network will have the potential to change our communities forever, and all of us at Cookson Hills Electric and Cookson Hills Connect feel privileged to play a part. Today my goal is to answer some of the questions we know you have.
Overall Project Progress
Our project is well underway as I hope you’ve seen from our Facebook updates. We have, for the past several months, been working with our partners at Conexon, designing and mapping the network – honing in on the optimum fiber path along our electric infrastructure. This early, intricate design work maps the fiber route along our entire Cookson Hills Electric grid through every substation and the feeders branching off, to the poles and lines that will deliver fiber to individual homes and businesses. The work sets the stage for a smoother build, prevents missteps in the long run and allows us to offer broadband affordably to members in the quickest, most efficient way possible.
Many of you have seen crews working during our make-ready stage – the process of evaluating and possibly changing out poles to prepare our infrastructure to accommodate the extra load of fiber. Make-ready work has been happening in multiple areas across the Cookson Hills territory. In addition, we have set fiber huts at our Enterprise, Stigler, Tenkiller, Sallisaw, Akins, Liberty and Muldrow substations. These huts house the equipment that lights the fiber which goes out to the homes and businesses served by the substation, thus preparing the way to distribute the fiber.
Phase 1 Locations and Timing
Of course, everyone’s top question is where will service be offered first? The first zone for service availability and customer connections will be Substation 2 - Feeder 4 (Enterprise). This area of about 810 homes and businesses includes areas in the communities of Brooken/Brooken Mountain Road, West Liberty, McKinney Addition, and Enterprise. We anticipate connecting our first members by early fall of 2021, barring unforeseen circumstances.
The second zone for fiber service is Substation 4 - Feeder 1 (Tenkiller). This zone, with approximately 840 homes and businesses, covers the East Lake Hills, Evening Shade Road, Blackgum, Ridge Route and Diver’s Ridge areas. We hope to begin connecting Tenkiller subscribers before the end of 2021, again barring unforeseen circumstances.
The zone listed below will follow Enterprise Substation – Feeder 4 and Tenkiller Substation - Feeder 1. We will communicate specifics around the timeline for connecting members as we get further into the build.
Substation 14 – Feeder 1 and Feeder 2 (Liberty) This will include the areas of Liberty, Blue Mouse, Dora, Shamblin Addition, Long, Mineral Springs, areas along Highway 64B, Hwy 101 to north of Muldrow.
Staying in the know
As you can see, we are listing substations and feeders to reference where the fiber project work is taking place. Beginning with the September billing cycle, you will be able to find which substation and feeder provides your electricity by looking at your electric bill. This will help you better determine when service becomes available at your specific location. I hope you found this letter helpful. I plan to provide additional updates as we progress. In the meantime, I encourage you to follow us on Facebook and to preregister for fiber at www.CooksonHillsConnect.com. Preregistering and providing your email lets us easily notify you with specific construction updates and when fiber service will be available in your area.
Thank you as always for your support.