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APRIL 23, 2021-The Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc. Board of Trustees awarded a contract in December 2020, for the construction of new fiber-optic cable facilities located within the rural surrounding areas of Thomas and Custer City, Oklahoma.  Cable construction began January 26 of this year and expected to be completed by end of June 2022.

The fiber cable construction contract was awarded to Excel Utility Contractors and Pomeroy Services was awarded the Splicing Bid.  Construction will consist of 226 miles of new buried fiber-optic cable facilities to serve more than 308 designated locations, in the rural areas surrounding the two communities.  Total project costs, including material and fiber splicing costs, amount to over $5.3 million dollars.

The build-out of new, buried, fiber-optic cable facilities in the rural areas located surrounding the Thomas and Custer City, Oklahoma telephone exchanges, is part of Pioneer Telephone’s on-going commitment and buildout plan as developed under the Federal Communications Commission, Alternative Connect America Fund Model, or A-CAM plan.  Under the A-CAM plan, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative, Inc., will receive approximately $280 Million over twelve years to expand and build-out fiber optic facilities to tens of thousands of rural residents and businesses located throughout Pioneer’s 30 county landline service area in Northwest, Central and Southwest Oklahoma.

Pioneer Telephone is future-proofing the needs of its customers and its network infrastructure by constructing new fiber-optic facilities using Gigabit Passive Optical Network technology.  Residents located in the A-CAM areas will have faster and more robust broadband speeds up to 1 Gig (1,000Mbps), allowing full access to services such as, iVideo streaming TV with High-Definition programming and Cloud DVR,  and robust home automation systems.  For more detailed mapping of the A-CAM areas, visit the GoPioneer.com site, click on the “Get Fiber” link.

The Alternative Connect America Fund Model, or A-CAM program is an FCC Order funded by the Federal Universal Service Fund established by Congress under the Telecommunications Act of 1996.  The A-CAM program provides funding for unserved and underserved rural locations where current landline telecommunications facilities are not capable of providing 4/1Mbs, 10/1Mbs, or 25/3Mbs broadband capability.  The A-CAM program uses a forward-looking cost model to predict the cost to provide qualifying Internet speeds to each location.

In addition to the A-CAM funded rural area construction projects, Pioneer Telephone has committed to invest an estimated $100 million of general funds over the ten years, to buildout Gigabit fiber technology to non-A-CAM funded local communities served by the Cooperative.

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