Ozark, Ark. – Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative Corporation (AVECC) is proud to announce the creation of Wave Rural Connect, LLC., a 100% owned telecommunications subsidiary. Wave Rural Connect will be offering high-speed internet, television, and telephone services to the entire membership of AVECC, which covers 13 counties in Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Ben Roe has been named General Manager of Wave Rural Connect, while AVECC’s Barret Ewing has been named the Fiber Project Coordinator. Both are overseeing operations, including construction and ongoing management of the business.
AVECC was incorporated July 13, 1937, pursuant to the Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corporation Act. The Act was adopted by the State of Arkansas after being drafted by the Rural Electrification Administration, which was created in 1935 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to bring electricity and telephone service to all people residing and working in Rural America. By 1938, AVECC had constructed 57 miles of electric line that provided electricity to 214 members. Today, AVECC has 6,628 miles of line that serve over 59,000 meters.
In 2018, AVECC’s Board of Directors approved phase one of a six-phase smart grid system buildout that will improve communication to all devices on AVECC’s electric grid. The excess fiber capacity of the smart grid system will be used by Wave Rural Connect to provide broadband services to all AVECC members.
“To remain competitive in today’s world, our rural areas must have access to high-speed internet service,” said Al Simpson, CEO of Arkansas Valley Electric. “Our children depend on this technology for their educational needs. Our seniors can utilize this technology to gain easier access to world class health professionals. Our members can now experience the benefits of working from home, a luxury that they haven’t been afforded in the past.”
Simpson continued, “The lack of access to electricity following the depression is like the lack of access to broadband internet rural America is experiencing today. The passion we have for our members and rural America is why we are bringing fiber to AVECC’s membership, just like we did with electricity 80 years ago. Because of AVECC’s smart grid project, Wave Rural Connect will be able to continue the fiber buildout into the homes of our members, fulfilling a need that is long overdue.”
Wave will offer 100mbps service for $49.95 or a gigabit of service for $79.95, both with symmetrical upload and download speeds. In addition to internet, Wave will also provide television and phone services. For more information about which phase you are on or to sign-up for service, visit: www.waveruralconnect.com.