EREC’s Plans For North Escambia Fiber Internet Moves Forward

January 27, 2023

Plans are moving forward for high speed fiber internet in North Escambia, and residents can now check future availability at their residential or business address.

Earlier this month, the Escambia County Commission selected member-owned Escambia River Electric Cooperative (EREC) with their partner firm Conexon Connect to provide high speed broadband in the area.

The Connect, powered by Escambia River Electric Cooperative, network will span approximately 600 miles of fiber network in Escambia County reaching over 4,000 electric member locations with an estimated cost of $24 million.

The network is expected to be complete to all 4,000 locations by mid-2024, with initial service availability targeted as early as the third quarter of 2023.

“I applaud the decision of the Escambia County Commission to make broadband connectivity to its unserved residents a priority,” said Conexon Partner Jonathan Chambers. “With funding from the county, we will be able to accelerate the construction of areas that were part of the FCC’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund. In addition, if EREC is successful in its grant application to the state, we will be able to build a fiber-optic network to the rest of EREC’s members in Escambia County. I want to thank Ryan Campbell for his leadership. Soon, Escambia County will lead the state in fiber connectivity.”

Three basic speed tiers will be available:

  • 100 Mbps/100 Mbps — $49.95/month
  • 1 Gig/1Gig — $79.95/month
  • 2 Gig/2Gig — $99.95/month

Qualifying households can receive a $30 per month discount through the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Ryan Campbell, EREC’s CEO, said installation will be free for customers that sign up when fiber is being installed on their road. After that, installation will be $100. Residents can learn more about plans here and check availability for their address here.

The company will also offer optional phone service and streaming programming packages from Directv.

The fiber will bring smart grid capabilities to EREC’s electrical infrastructure, including improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and more, according to the cooperative. Additionally, fiber connections to county facilities will also be provided.

“EREC has made great strides since the 1930s when we first brought electricity to this area. We continue to seek out and bring much-needed services to the rural areas, and high-speed internet is now a necessity,” Campbell said. “As a not-for-profit cooperative, we are excited about bringing this critical service to our members.”

Conexon and Conexon Connect work with electric cooperatives to provide fiber broadband to their members. With its clients, the company has designed more than 200,000 miles of fiber, builds more than 50,000 miles of fiber annually and has connected more than 500,000 rural Americans to fiber to the home.

“We’re thrilled to expand our partnerships in the state of Florida, continuing our efforts of serving unserved and underserved rural residents across the U.S.,” Conexon Founding Partner Randy Klindt said. “Bringing fiber to those who need it most is why we started Conexon and why we work daily to close the digital divide in communities like those served by EREC.”


11 Responses to “EREC’s Plans For North Escambia Fiber Internet Moves Forward”

  1. Matthew E on January 31st, 2023 4:13 pm

    This sounds great. Will yall be expanding in Santa Rosa County? I live off Hwy 4, between Jay and Berrydale. Spectrum service ends a couple miles from my house. I even managed to get them to come out and do a survey. They claimed they’d only gain like 14 customers by expanding out here. So only choices are satellite or mobile hotspots, neither of which are that great of options. I saw someone say if you have EREC for power, than you’re in their footprint, but don’t know if they just meant Escambia county or what.

  2. Taylon on January 29th, 2023 10:31 am


    If you have EREC for power then you’re in their footprint. If you’re FPL then you’re probably out of luck.

    If you read the FAQ over at Conexon’s site you’ll see that they will run their cables along the power lines so if your house has power via poles then the lines they run to your house will be on those same poles instead of burying them all the way to the house.

    So right now we’ll just have to wait and see how aggressive they are with their installation timetables, or if they get hit with delay after delay.

    Also, if you’re able to get Starlink where you’re at I highly recommend it over Hughes or Viasat. Night and day difference.

  3. Donald Sanders on January 28th, 2023 11:40 am

    Will the service come down highway 97 past Gibson Road where other ISP stops, our ISP, Hughes, charges about $100 a month for 30 MBPS which we use up in 2 weeks and then it is throttled back to less than 1 MBPS, most of the time it’s 0.15 MBPS. WE CANT DO ANYTHING AT THAT SPEED. Hughes has us over a barrel because we can’t get anything else. We get hughes or direct tv, direct tvi is worse than hughes. We need the fiber optic service on highway 97. Thanks

  4. NPC on January 27th, 2023 6:10 pm

    Pssssssst, hey COX, you lost. Imagine how your business will be affected when these prices head south? Heads up Spectrum, three prices are better than yours also.

  5. Kane on January 27th, 2023 1:16 pm

    One small step for E.R.E.C one giant leap for residents!! This is great news for everyone not just the residents that will directly benefit. The less Cox spreads the better maybe this will inspire other entities and competitors to our area God knows we need them.

  6. KR on January 27th, 2023 11:14 am

    Looks like those of us in Pilgrim Hills are left out again! Tell me why if service isn’t available up here, why was Conexon laying fiber in the area???

  7. Taylon on January 27th, 2023 10:43 am

    Well this is absolutely fantastic news.

    Doubt my house will make that 2023 3rd quarter availability, but I signed up anyway. At least they didn’t require a deposit like Starlink did.

  8. Molino Resident on January 27th, 2023 9:32 am

    Will this be available to residents in the Molino area how are serviced by FPL and not EREC?

  9. hootnholler on January 27th, 2023 8:27 am

    2 thumbs up, now if they would do the same in alabama

  10. RaD on January 27th, 2023 8:26 am

    1 Gig up/1Gig down for $79.95/month is a great price point. This will probably end up being the best run network in Escambia county. I am jealous I don’t reside in the service area.

  11. Urban Sprawl on January 27th, 2023 7:36 am

    This enables more urban sprawl because it’s one less reason for city dwellers to be reluctant about moving north of Nine Mile. Bring on more traffic, yippy dogs, and subdivisions. On the bright future grid lock of soccer moms on highway 97 will reduce the speeders that y’all complain about everyday.

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