When the Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative and broadband partner WCFIBER developed their design and planned to deliver Smart Grid and Fiber to the Home (FTTH) across the county, they needed the right fiber infrastructure and network access, backed by committed service and support teams. Conterra was able to service and support the partnership throughout a successful implementation utilizing the existing dark fiber network throughout the county.


Problem 1: Rural American homes lack fiber service


Bringing FTTH to rural America remains a challenge for today’s modern economy. To allow all people, regardless of where they live, to compete on the same level technologically, wide-bandwidth fiber optic networks must be designed for and installed throughout rural communities.


Problem 2: Rural power grids are in need of upgrading


Smart Grid technology is an advanced electricity network that utilizes digital tools to effectively and efficiently monitor, manage and transport electricity from generation sources to residential and business consumers according to fluctuations in demand. As rural communities are often served by outdated grid technology, the expansion of Smart Grid into underserved areas is needed.


Problem 3: Rural counties require higher-quality telecommunications services


BREC and WCFIBER needed to provide advanced, high-quality, scalable, reliable telecommunications services to all businesses and residences throughout the county but did not have existing fiber backbone and network infrastructure.


Conterra’s solution


By providing Indefeasible Right of Use (IRU) of fiber tubes throughout our county-wide network, Conterra delivered backbone and middle mile required fiber optic infrastructure for BREC and WCFIBER to deploy Smart Grid and FTTH technologies to previously unserved communities. Key to the project’s success was providing sufficient access points to the network along with OSP, service and support teams.


Results and KPIs


Conterra’s fiber network infrastructure and related support systems and teams were a perfect fit to match the partnership’s unique Smart Grid and FTTH service plan. Funding was approved to bring broadband within the county and timely implementation quickly delivered services to the targeted locations.


Successful Key Performance Indicators from the implementation included:


● Time to Market ● Network Resiliency ● Service Uptime ● Service Delivery Capability ● Operational Support


Future solutions for BREC and WCFIBER


Due to the success of the original deployment, BREC has contracted additional fiber and access through Conterra. This service model creates a fast to market solution that delivers Smart Grid, FTTH and communication services faster and at a lower cost to local businesses and residences than the competition, which protects the region from legacy or external providers who are not fully committed to serving the community long-term.