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Fiber for Breakfast 2023 Week 14: The Role of Rural Broadband for OzarksGo

Please join us for Fiber for Breakfast with OzarksGo General Manager, Steven Bandy. OzarksGo began fiber construction in 2016 and completed construction within our electric cooperative footprint in 2021. In 2019, they made the decision to expedite the project with the goal to complete construction one year ahead of original forecasts. During the peak of the acceleration of the project, OzarksGo completed over 1,100 new fiber to the home installations per month. This accelerated pace became a necessity to meet increased demand during the Covid -19 pandemic.

With the completion of the initial project, OzarksGo continues to find ways to expand our broadband footprint by utilizing state and federal funding opportunities. They have enhanced their mission-driven initiative at OzarksGo by joining with 13 other Arkansas Cooperatives to form Diamond State Network (DSN). DSN will ultimately bridge the networks together creating one of the largest middle mile networks throughout the state of Arkansas.

Webinar Presenter:

Steven Bandy has over 20 years of utility experience from the field to management level that has included leadership roles in engineering, operations, customer service, billing and dispatch. In his previous positions, Steven worked for independently-owned utility companies focused on distribution of natural gas and also a diversified company with both natural gas and electric customers. Steven joined Ozarks Electric Cooperative in 2016 as VP of Member Relations. He was promoted to General Manager of OzarksGo in February 2019. As General Manager, Steven works to provide the superior services of all-fiber gigabit internet, high-definition television and long-distance phone services to Ozarks Electric’s members. He manages the fiber network that provides these services and the additional benefits of smart grid management that ultimately increases the reliability of Ozarks’ entire electric system.