Southern Indiana Fiber Partnership Featured in RE Magazine
SEI Fiber, a partnership of Southeastern Indiana Rural Electric Membership Corp. and neighboring rural telco, SEI Communications, is nearing the end of a 1,800-mile high-speed network construction project. NRTC managed the project that has begun providing 1 Gbps service to the region with technology expandable to 10 Gbps in the future.
“Our project is providing something to our seven counties that will be lasting for decades to come,” said SEI Communications CEO Tony Clark in the August issue of RE Magazine (password required). SEI Fiber is one of several projects RE highlights in an insert to its annual Broadband Issue.
The project had its share of difficulties and barriers, including construction during the COVID era and the supply chain issues that soon ensued. But construction that began in May 2021 is on track to end in late 2022. The partners can point to a number of reasons for a successful outcome.
“We’ve known each other for years. And when you can trust the person that you’re dealing with, that makes it a heck of a lot easier,” Miller says. “We had that foundation well before we even started these [broadband] talks.”
Miller credited NRTC with assistance in avoiding supply-chain delays. “NRTC had the foresight to say, ‘Hey, guys, you gotta buy a lot of fiber right now.’ That was at the very beginning of the project,” he said. “We bought millions of feet of fiber back in October 2020 with NRTC helping us negotiate those contracts with suppliers.”
The two partners are sharing SEI Fiber duties according to what each company does best. The REMC is building the XGS-PON fiber network out from its substations. SEI Communications handles in-home installation and acts at the internet service provider.