$5 Million Broadband Opportunity Program Grant Awarded to Serve Portions of Highlands and Okeechobee Counties

Posted: June 19, 2023 at 8:41 am
GEC’s fiber contractor prepares to lash fiber to its supporting strand in Montura.

Glades Electric Cooperative announced it has secured $5,000,000 in funding through Florida’s Broadband Opportunity Program to enhance broadband internet access for underserved communities in Florida. This funding is in addition to an initial Broadband Opportunity Program award of $5,000,000 announced by the co-op in February, bringing its total awards to $10,000,000.

Glades Electric is partnering with leading rural internet service provider Conexon Connect to launch and deploy a nearly 2,600-mile fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network with the goal of providing fiber broadband access to all of its approximately 13,600 members.

The current award will fund the construction of 795 miles of the fiber network to serve 1,195 unserved locations within Highlands and Okeechobee Counties with symmetrical (same upload and download speeds) capabilities of up to 2 gigabits per second. It will encompass the communities of Lorida and the Lake Josephine area in Highlands County, as well as Basinger, Viking Estates, and Okeechobee in Okeechobee County.

Glades Electric’s nearly $50 million network is expected to be completed within three years. The Connect, powered by Glades Electric Cooperative, network – with its symmetrical multi-gigabit internet capabilities – will deliver a world-class, future-proof solution to those living and working in Glades territory.

Glades Electric Cooperative is committed to closing the digital divide and improving the quality of life for rural Floridians. With the support of the Broadband Opportunity Program, this transformative project will foster economic growth, educational opportunities, and enhanced connectivity in its communities for years to come.