Delaware Electric Cooperative announces competition of fiber-optic system

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Delaware Electric Cooperative (DEC) and Lightower Fiber Networks completed work on a project that will improve the utility’s reliability and offer the possibility of faster broadband service to residents in a portion of the state.

The cooperative and Lightower partnered in 2016 to construct a 250-mile, all fiber, network connecting DEC’s substations to the headquarters building in Greenwood.

The project is providing a broadband network connecting electrical devices across Kent and Sussex Counties.

The project makes it easier for Co-op engineers to remotely operate Delaware Electric Cooperative devices, leading to faster power restoration during major storms and outages. The fiber lines were lit in March.

Delaware Electric Cooperative’s President and CEO Bill Andrew said, “The addition of this fiber line will play an important role in maintaining and improving reliability for members. We continue to invest in a modern electrical system, capable of automatically operating electric equipment in the field to isolate electrical problems and, at times, restore power. The fiber strand will ensure we are able to quickly communicate with our substations and equipment—allowing us to add more advanced equipment in the future.”

Aside from the benefits to Delaware Electric Co-op members, broadband providers now have the option to purchase additional fiber lines owned by Lightower. The lines could expand fast, affordable broadband service in the area.

The project cost $3 million.

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