US utility co-op pilots fiber optic network


 In the US, the Central Virginia Energy Cooperative (CVEC) will lay and integrate with its grid system, a new fiber-optic cable.The fiber optic network will be developed under a one year pilot, set to begin this year.

The results of the pilot will be used to decide whether CVEC should deploy the network across its entire 4600 miles of distribution lines.

Using a $100 million investment, CVEC will install the fiber optic cable adjacent to the utility’s existing overhead and underground energy distribution lines.

The fiber network will help the energy company to communicate data within various points on the electricity distribution system at high speeds.

In addition, the fiber network will allow the integration of smart grid technologies, increase connection of distributed energy resources and help reduce consumer energy costs through the implementation of energy management initiatives.

“Increasing bandwidth for communications within CVEC’s system will improve efficiency, increase reliability, and expand security,” according to a statement.

The network will also be used to provide affordable, high-speed internet services  to members of the utility cooperative. CVEC provides electric services to 36,000 homes in 14 rural counties in Virginia.

Gary Wood, CEO at the cooperative, said: “CVEC believes that access to reliable, high-speed internet today is becoming as important as access to electricity in 1937. Given the great need for connectivity, CVEC will leverage its fiber network to provide a broadband internet solution that will serve the community now and for the future.”

“There are many hurdles to clear for the project to begin and then to be completed. The management and staff of CVEC are committed to meeting these challenges head-on and making world-class broadband internet service a reality for CVEC members,” reiterated Wood.


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