On August 9th, 2022, Kenergy announced their partnership with internet service provider Conexon Connect (CC) which will, for the first time ever, deliver high-speed, broadband, fiber internet access to Kentuckians in rural areas.
The partnership will connect homes and businesses across 14 counties: Hancock, Daviess, Henderson, Hopkins, Ohio, Webster, McLean, Crittenden, Union, Lyon, Caldwell, Livingston, Muhlenberg and Breckinridge.
The first of these connections were made in McLean on February 15th, 2023 and from there they’ll be heading into Daviess. They won’t be building-out from one county to the next, but rather working in various areas at the same time. They begin at a substation and then build-out feeder by feeder and sometimes those feeders cross county lines.
Connections began first in McLean, because there was an internet access point there. Feeders go into Daviess from that access point, so work will begin there next. The substation can be imagined like the hub of a wheel, and the feeders are like the spokes branching out.
Also, Conexon was awarded $10M of Daviess County’s American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, which determines the direction they’ll be going next as well. Leslye Krampe, Business Development Manager at Conexon explained, “We have a tentative schedule, but where we have applied for state funding through the office of broadband – where we receive that funding will determine where we build-out next.
That’s why we’re hesitant on providing any type of a schedule or promises, because we don’t want to mislead anyone. We’re waiting until after that funding is announced and we know what areas receive the funding. The state funding should be announced either summer or late summer of this year, by the governor’s office.”
Leslie Barr, Kenergy’s Communications and Public Relations Specialist added, “Conexon and Kenergy started out with a schedule, but there are variables that affect that, like funding from the governor and other entities. That’s why we never want to give out a specific county or a specific date when they’ll be connected, just because those things can fluctuate.
We can’t give out details on the schedule, specifically about where we are working at certain times. That’s the same thing we do for the co-op, on the electric side, for the safety of the crews that are working. We do give our members a heads-up if we’re going to be working in their area, just so they’re familiar with the crews that may be out around them, and all of our contractors also have magnets on their vehicles to identify if they’re a contractor for Kenergy or Conexon.”
3 Year Estimate for Full Completion
“Conexon is building at an incredible pace on this project,” Krampe said. “It’s one of the fastest build-outs of fiber across the country. There are 5 different steps of how the build-out works. The first step is make ready engineering. That’s where they come out and look at the poles and determine what needs to be done to the electric system to prepare for the fiber. Then you have the make ready construction, which is where they actually go out and may change poles and do the actual construction piece that’s needed to prepare for the fiber.”
“The third step is where they come and install the fiber, and then another contractor comes in and does the splicing of the fiber. Finally, another contractor does the actual drop and install, and they schedule it with a member to install into their home for active service.”
People encouraged to sign up now!
Sign-up on Website
Barr said all Kenergy members are encouraged to visit conexonconnect.com and select Kenergy as your electric co-op. Type in your name and address, and you will receive an estimated time of connection. Next, check the box of services you think you’ll be interested in.
“A lot of people think that when they see that they’re actually locked-in to whatever package they have,” Barr said, “but, it’s no commitment. It’s just so Conexon can have a better idea of what it’s looking like as far as membership interest in certain areas. You’ll put your email address there and your phone number, and then you’ll get a confirmation email saying you’ve signed-up for information. Once construction is starting in your area, they will send you updates to your email.”
Sign-up by Phone
If you don’t have internet, you can call Conexon at 844-542-6663, and sign-up. You can also ask one of the customer service representatives any questions you may have.
Barr said she shares updates on the Kenergy social media channel. You can also follow the Connect Powered by Kenergy Facebook Page for updates. At the very top of Kenergy’s website, kenergycorp.com, there is an orange banner that reads: High-speed internet is here! Check availability. Click on that banner, and all of the Conexon information is there. Also, when you call Kenergy’s 1-800-844-4832 phone number, the first thing on the prompt is the aforementioned Conexon phone number.
“We have a lot of different ways we’re trying to remind our members to go ahead and sign-up,” Barr said, “because that’s the best way to receive information. We’re trying to get them associated with the Connect Powered by Kenergy name. That way they’re familiar with it when they see the trucks working, or when they see the mailers and emails come in.
Our members receive a newsletter each month, and for those that may not be inclined to get online and read it, it comes with their bill each month. Each month we have information on Connect Powered by Kenergy in there that includes the website, the phone number and a QR code to sign-up. We’re really excited about it, and excited for the opportunity to provide this service to all of our members.”
“Conexon and Kenergy are great partners in this project and we’re excited to get it built-out quickly and efficiently,” Krampe said. “And, the state funding will definitely help. We’re excited to see the results of that project come to fruition.”
By Jennifer Wimmer