Midwest Energy & Communications, headquartered in Cassopolis, MI brings electric, fiber internet, phone, and propane solutions to customers in southern Michigan, northern Indiana, and northwest Ohio. We are dedicated to eliminating the digital divide that limits success for those without access to high-speed communications.
Finalist Spotlight Q&A:
What role do you see FTTH playing in bridging the digital divide?
Fiber internet provides the most reliable and consistent service experience for end users. It is also, currently, considered the only “future proof” technology available that can meet any speed and throughput requirements or standard. This ensures that users can do whatever they need to online today and for years to come.
Why are utilities like MEC important to delivering connectivity to the unconnected?
In the 1930s, large utility providers did not see the ROI in bringing power to the rural space. This left many people, like farmers, to deal not only with the Great Depression, but also the hardship of not having electricity. Rather than accept that they had been left in the dark, country residents began to form electric cooperatives to build electric infrastructure where others wouldn't. It is with that same spirit that rural electric cooperatives are uniquely positioned to bring fiber internet to rural America. Rural co-ops serve customers in some of the least densely populated areas in our country, and many, if not most, of these individuals have lacked access to reliable broadband. Once again, they've been left in the dark. So, just like our grandfathers and great-grandfathers did nearly 90 years ago, we are lighting the way for our neighbors, friends, family members, and even ourselves.
What are you proudest of in your efforts to connect the unconnected?
We are most proud of providing a service to those who have desperately needed it. Time and again, we hear stories from customers about how life-changing our FTTH has been. They enjoy connecting to the world and knowing they can count on that connection as broadband becomes more and more essential to modern day life.
What’s been your biggest learning in bridging the digital divide?
It has been truly eye opening to see just how meaningful it is for the individuals we’ve connected and just how economically impactful it has been. Every bit of effort has been worth it to know that our customers no longer have to drive into town to access a reliable internet connection. Our businesses can thrive, and our students can learn.
What are you looking forward to?
We look forward to seeing that we’ve done all that we could in providing this essential service to those who thought they would never get to experience it.
Learn more at teammidwest.com.