Broadband Subsidiary: EcoLink
It was only a few short months after an introductory meeting, that East Central Oklahoma Electric Cooperative (ECOEC) tasked Conexon with producing a study to prove out the economic feasibility of a broadband business. Partners Randy Klindt and Jonathan Chambers prepared a full business plan projecting that the co-op’s fiber business would break even in its ninth year. The two also calculated the potential financial impact of the pending CAF II auction should ECOEC elect to join the Conexon-led consortium of electric co-ops bidding for funds.
With the Board’s approval, Conexon qualified ECOEC to bid, designed the bidding strategy, and placed the co-op’s bids in the auction. ECOEC successfully secured $22 million, which improved the co-op’s fiber project breakeven point from the ninth year to the first year, and eliminated the need for financial subsidizing by the electric co-op. With that funding, ECOEC’s Board voted to move forward to provide fiber to the home to 100% of its members.