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Life is Better with Centranet

Life is now better for many rural residents thanks to high-speed internet and phone service as Centranet announces its availability to all Central Rural Electric Cooperative’s members.

“This is an exciting time for Central and its members,” said Mark Prather, Central’s President of Fiber and Technology. “Centranet is open to all members and serving some members who have never had access to high-speed internet.”

 The anticipated five-to-seven-year project began in 2020 when Central’s board of trustees approved the system-wide fiber buildout to increase system reliability and support connectivity for its rural members.

 “Centranet is no longer a project, it’s a part of Central,” said Hunter Robinson, Central’s CEO. “It benefits our membership and empowers our members through rural connectivity.”

 The completion of the fiber project comes almost a full year ahead of schedule and prepares Central’s electric distribution system for the demands of the future and the need for data to be analyzed in real-time.

 “The fiber build is helping Central create an interconnected communication network by adding a fiber connection to manage the electric grid and field applications more efficiently,” Robinson said. “While this is still in process, having connectivity to devices in the field has already helped us identify outages quicker.”

Fifteen hundred poles were added to Central’s system, and more than 10 percent of poles were replaced to increase stability and withstand the weight of the added fiber. Throughout the project, nearly 70 percent of Central’s grid was surveyed.

 “Not everyone wants to live in a town, and they shouldn’t be disadvantaged by a lack of connectivity,” Prather said. “Broadband connectivity for our rural members is just as important as other utilities.”

What began as a vision for high-speed reliable internet service is now a reality for Central’s more than 18,000 members.

“Just as rural electrification did in the 1930s, Centranet is improving rural lives,” Robinson said.

Located in Stillwater, Okla., Centranet is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Central Rural Electric Cooperative that brings members the fastest, most reliable internet through its fiber network.