To enhance service to its 44,000 members, including offering high-speed internet, Cullman Electric Cooperative decided to build a fiber ring around its service area. The cooperative’s Sprout Fiber Internet network would connect Cullman’s substations and headquarters, creating a smart grid that provided better reliability. The fiber ring would also enable faster power restoration, automation capabilities, fewer outages and the ability to perform remote troubleshooting. Building a fiber optic network takes time and there is often a huge learning curve for any electric cooperative.
Cullman initially worked with another supply chain company, but when product availability and fulfillment issues arose, Cullman turned to Wesco, based on our years of experience working with Cullman’s electrical operations. According to Mark Freeman, Cullman’s manager of network operations, “Having a trusted partner like Wesco that can manage the materials acquisition and warehousing, gives our team the confidence to focus on other critical issues because we know the materials required to build the fiber network will be there when we need them.”
Wesco immersed itself in Cullman’s challenges, deploying its team of fiber network specialists experienced in broadband deployments. The Wesco Broadband Support CenterSM provided creative, tangible solutions, including project management, extensive product knowledge and procurement. Our warehouse team improved warehouse operations with racking, material handling equipment and inventory management tools, and we stocked products for just-in-time delivery. In addition, Wesco kept the project on schedule by sourcing materials and alternate products when needed. Wesco’s efforts helped to create the smartest path forward for Cullman to reach its goals.
The first phase of the 800-mile fiber network project connected the co-op’s headquarters and substations. The new broadband network helped to enhance electrical services and brought reliable, gigabit-speed connectivity to co-op members.
Founded in 1936, Cullman Electric Cooperative was one of the first electrical cooperatives in Alabama. Located in Cullman, Alabama, the cooperative has over 44,000 members in Cullman, Winston, Morgan, and Lawrence counties.
- Manage, build and source products for a fiber optic network to power a large electric service area
- Bring smart grid capabilities, including high-speed internet service, to the co-op’s members
- Become a seamless extension of the co-op’s operations
- The Wesco Broadband Support CenterSM provided creative, tangible solutions, including project management, extensive product knowledge and procurement
- Our warehouse team improved warehouse operations with racking, material handling equipment and inventory management tools
- Stocked products for just-in-time delivery
- Kept the project on schedule by sourcing materials and alternate products
- Connected the co-op’s headquarters and substations to the new fiber optic network
- Enhanced electrical services and reliable, gigabit-speed internet connectivity for co-op members