PIONEER AWARDS A-CAM CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT FOR COMANCHE AND LOCO EXCHANGES

APRIL 10, 2019-The Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Board of Trustees awarded the construction contract for Comanche and Loco exchanges for the federally funded A-CAM (Alternative Connect America Fund Model) program. The A-CAM program will provide Pioneer over $280 million over twelve years to build fiber optic networks to unserved and underserved locations in Pioneer’s 75 exchanges. Construction will start April 15, 2019 and is expected to be completed May of 2020.

Residents in these A-CAM areas may already have Internet speeds up to 50Mb available but will have 1 Gigabit speeds possible with fiber. Pioneer is future-proofing the needs of its customers by building facilities with high-speed fiber-optics. Fiber will allow customers to have full access to things including broadband speeds up to 1Gig, multiple Digital TV streams, High-Definition, Whole-Home DVR, live-streaming, security cameras and home automation. For more detailed mapping of the A-CAM areas, visit GoPioneer.com and click on the “Get Fiber” link and visit the Fiber Areas section. While on the website, customers may show their interested in fiber, by registering their address to be kept up-to-date on the construction process.

The contract was awarded to Klaasmeyer Construction to build 189 miles of fiber optic facilities to serve the A-CAM designated locations in the Comanche and Loco exchanges. The contract is broken down into six zones, four in Comanche and two in Loco. Each zone will be closed separately so subscribers can enjoy the enhanced services provided by fiber optics sooner. In addition, the Pioneer board also approved a separate contract for the fiber splicing to Pomeroy Services. The grand total of this project including construction, splicing, material and labor, is equivalent to $5,326,263.25.

A-CAM is an FCC program that is funded by the Universal Service Fund established by the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The A-CAM program provides funding for locations where current facilities are not capable of providing 10 Mbps downstream speed and 1 Mbps upstream speed to the Internet. The A-CAM program uses a forward-looking cost model to predict the cost to provide

qualifying Internet speeds to each location. Those locations with monthly costs below $52.50 are not eligible for A-CAM funding. Locations with modelled costs above $52.50 and below $252.50 are fully funded by A-CAM and are required to be served with at least 10 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream service. Funding for locations with modelled costs over $252.50 will be capped at the $252.50 mark. Pioneer will be required to provide 4 Mbps downstream and 1 Mbps upstream service to 25% of these capped locations.

In total, Pioneer will be required to serve 13,372 locations with at least 10 Mbps down/1 Mbps up service and 1,395 locations with 4 Mbps down/ 1 Mbps up service over a ten-year period. Since Pioneer is building fiber optic facilities to provide qualifying service to the unserved and underserved locations, Internet plans up to 1 Gbps will be available.

In addition to the A-CAM funded fiber optic construction, Pioneer plans to invest an additional $52 million of general funds in the next two years to build fiber optic facilities in areas that are not funded by A-CAM. These areas already have qualifying Internet service but lack the speeds and user experience that fiber optic facilities provide.

 A link labeled “Get Fiber” can be found on Pioneer’s website (GoPioneer.com) where cus­tomers can register their interest in fiber. Customers register by entering

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their physical ad­dress and answering a few questions concerning the services that

re of interest. A message and confirma­tion email will be sent notifying customers of the fiber plans for their area. Those interested may also call 888.782.2667 for more information.

About Pioneer    Pioneer your local broadband provider, an industry leader in rural telecommunications services, is a multi-service telecommunications corporation providing service to 140,000 accounts in communities encompassing 45 counties in Western and Southern Oklahoma, as well as, 8 counties in Southern Kansas.  Pioneer provides an array of telecommunications products and services, including Local Telephone Service, Ethernet Transport Service (ETS), High-Speed Internet, Digital TV, Cellular, Long Distance, Wireless Broadband, Security Systems, Business Solutions, GPON Broadband, VoIP and Yellow Pages Advertisement. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer.  For more information about Pioneer, please call 1.888.782.2667 or visit our website, GoPioneer.com.