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Broadband: we heard you, and we’re responding

Tipmont is bringing
broadband internet
to our members!

Tipmont is a member-owned cooperative.
Our mission is
to listen and respond
to your needs by
providing the essential services that you
need to be empowered. You’ve told us
that affordable high-speed broadband is
a necessity of modern life that many of
you are lacking today. We heard you! And
we are responding.

The board’s unanimous vote to authorize
broadband internet and related services
follows 18 months of listening to your
needs and conducting extensive feasibility
evaluation and market analysis. This
is an enormous and exciting step for all
of us.

FAQs

Read the broadband internet FAQs.

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Of all the factors that our board considered,
the most critical was your input.
I’m very grateful to all of you who shared
your thoughts with us, both through our
member surveys and anecdotally. It left
little doubt that many of you are suffering
from the lack of affordable broadband
internet access.

In Tipmont’s 2017 Member Survey, over
50 percent told us they do not have
access to affordable high-speed broadband
internet. This means that over half
of Tipmont’s membership cannot video
chat with family, stream videos, or further
their education online.

Of those who do have internet service,
over 50 percent are not satisfied with
their current internet provider. Customer
service was one of the most noted contributors.
In the 2017 American Customer
Satisfaction Index (ACSI), the average
internet service provider satisfaction
score was 64 out of 100. By comparison,
Tipmont’s 2017 satisfaction score for
electric service was 81 out of 100.
You also told us that your strongest
drivers of service satisfaction are speed
and reliability. The fiber optics we are
installing are the fastest and most reliable
technology available today, with ample
capacity to meet tomorrow’s needs.

The member survey results were quite
compelling. However, the stories we
heard directly from our members were
even more powerful. For example, one
member who owns and operates a small
business from her home shared her
frustrations of spending several hours
each week just trying to connect with her
clients because her internet reliability is
so poor. Her home is less than two miles
from the city limits. This inequality in
rural America is unacceptable.

We are early in the process of developing
our deployment plans, but I can tell you
that we plan to connect our first members
in late 2018 and that the pricing for
the service, while not yet determined,
will be market competitive.

I am sure that you have many more
thoughts and questions. We will be holding
member meetings later this spring
as well as our Annual Meeting on July 28
at McCutcheon High School. Watch for
more information in Electric Consumer,
on our Facebook page, and on our website
at tipmont.org/broadband.

In the meantime, I encourage you to
write me at ceo@tipmont.org or call our
Member Services team at 800-726-3953.
We have taken an important step, but
there are many more to come. Your continued
feedback and input will be vital as
we bring equal access and opportunity
for rural communities, and a superior
product and service for all Tipmont
members.

Picture of Ron Holcomb

Ron Holcomb

Ron is a 30-year veteran of the electric utility industry with extensive experience in power supply, advanced grid technologies, essential service operations, economic development and value-driven growth initiatives for combined electric and telecommunication utilities. During his career, he has led three utilities as President/CEO and provided management consulting to utilities across the country. Ron joined Tipmont as CEO in summer 2013. He holds a B.S. in Physics from Austin Peay State University and an MBA from Murray State University.

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May 6, 2024
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