Questions answered: DREMC & Fiber banner image

Questions answered: DREMC & Fiber

When is Duck River Electric bringing internet service to my community ?

This is a question we are asked from time to time by members who have limited access to the internet; from families who want better internet than their current service; and from small business owners who need internet to accomplish their goals.

This seems like a simple question. But behind this question are many layers of complexity, which we’d like to address.

Q: Other people are getting internet connections from their electric providers. When can I get an internet connection from Duck River Electric?

A: Not yet.

Q: Why?

A: DREMC remains focused on excelling at its core business and the reason you are a member – electricity – while we also build out fiber-optic connectivity to our area. We are setting the stage for experienced internet service providers to partner with DREMC and the communities we serve to bring high-quality internet to your home.

Q: Why wait for an ISP (internet service provider)? Can DREMC build what’s needed to bring internet to my home?

A: To begin a new ISP start-up business, it would cost DREMC over $400 million. For 84 years, hard-working line crews have built over $200 million of pole and wire infrastructure to serve the energy needs of this area. That is a lot of money, time and hard work. Making an investment twice that size in just a few years to enter a competitive business market where we have no experience is risky.

And we don’t need to. There are over 20 internet service providers already offering access to our members. The ISP business is a costly industry to enter with no experience. This has been considered from many angles, and at this time we see no strategic advantages nor financial models that show becoming an ISP a good idea for this cooperative.

Q: How can an ISP get onto the DREMC fiber loop so they can bring service to me?

A: Any ISP that wants to lease fiber from DREMC can contact our Shelbyville office. We have established fair and consistent guidelines for lease agreements that make it possible for any ISP to come in and offer service.

Q: What is a good idea?

A: We think the best idea is to strategically use DREMC’s greatest asset. We have over 116,141 poles covering all or parts of 16 counties and spanning 6,200 miles of line that carry electricity all across the region. We are using our core infrastructure to literally support bringing internet access in more places.

DREMC is building a 400-mile fiber-optic loop, the core backbone that will be necessary to get internet to our members, especially those in the most remote locations.

Fiber Status Spring 2021