Partnership is Key in Bringing a Fiber Network to Rural Iowa
By Donna Yates | December 21, 2021
Read Time: 3 Minutes
Deploying a rural broadband network can be challenging, but with decades of experience and
expertise in the broadband industry, Wesco can provide the products, services and solutions to successfully deploy fiber networks.
Maquoketa Valley Electric Cooperative (MVEC) is one of the largest electric cooperatives in the state of Iowa and provides electricity and internet/phone services to 14,000 members in nine east-central Iowa communities.
MVEC’s members had expressed the need for better internet connectivity. This need by their members coincided with the cooperatives desire to ramp up communications to improve electric grid operations. By building a fiber network throughout their service area, they could create a robust fiber optic backhaul that could connect every substation with fiber, and ultimately, every meter with a fiber connection.
Initial Scope of Work: 2,400 miles of fiber to be laid in four phases.
Five-Year Plan: To improve electric grid operations and provide a state-of-the-art
How Wesco Helped
Having an established relationship with MVEC, Wesco was asked to quote on the initial phase of the project. The cooperative wanted the build to move quickly and efficiently,
and having one experienced partner who could provide 98% of the equipment would help to streamline the entire project. As a result of their competitive bid, product and equipment availability, and their reputation in the industry, Wesco was selected as the materials provider for the initial phase and, ultimately, for the other phases of this project.
Wesco's partnership with this project provided the cooperative with a complete material handling solution that increased the overall efficiency of the buildout. Other benefits included:
- Streamlined supply chain solutions to fit MVEC’s unique needs
- Consolidated purchasing that allowed materials to be shipped and received at Wesco facilities and then individually palletized, labeled and shipped for each segment of the project
- Alternative item sourcing and selection
- Access to equipment from all the industry-leading suppliers
- A dedicated team to provide materials forecasting, scheduling and logistical information for the duration of the long-term project
In the Customer’s Words
“Tonia Klapp, the Sales Manager for Wesco, and their entire team did the best job of providing us with material options and pricing from multiple suppliers, proving to be an expert liaison on the project and on fiber builds in general. The MVlink project has been a learning experience for employees within every department of the cooperative," says Jeremy Richert, CEO for MVEC.
"From planning to execution, marketing, operations and maintenance, it has been a project that required contributions from all departments in order to be successful. The project has also been very rewarding to the employees of the cooperative as it has really met the bandwidth needs of our members and put the rural areas within MVEC’s service area on a level playing field with more urban areas.”
Partnerships are Key
“Wesco has been privileged to be part of Maquoketa Valley’s fiber journey from the beginning," stated Steven Dean, Senior Vice President, Utility for Wesco. “Supporting Maquoketa’s unique fiber deployment and working in partnership with them to deliver broadband to an underserved community through our technical knowledge and unique fiber material solutions has brought us valuable insight. We have learned how to better serve our co-op customers and we are always mindful of the positive impact that deploying broadband has in public power and co-op communities.”
Deploying a rural broadband network can be challenging, but with decades of experience and expertise in the broadband industry, Wesco can provide the products, services and solutions to successfully deploy fiber networks.
Article originally published November 8, 2021 and updated for accuracy and relevance.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Donna Yates, Marketing Manager for Global Service Providers, Broadband and Wireless, is responsible for supporting the generation of marketing strategy, programs, and collateral for both internal sales members and external end-users for the global broadband segment. During her more than 20 years at Wesco, she has held roles in finance, operations, lean, and marketing.