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Birchwood and Spring Creek Construction Updates

12:03PM July 22, 2019

Birchwood Construction Update

    On October 11, 2018, Volunteer Energy Cooperative (VEC) was awarded a $1.5 million matching grant by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The money provided by this grant will be used to expand the VEC broadband presence into Meigs and Hamilton counties. The money will be split between VEC and its strategic partners, with $1 million allocated to aid construction and smart grid enhancement, and another $500,000 allocated to aid grid virtualization and entrepreneurial development. This expansion of broadband access will include areas surrounding Highway 60, between Highway 58 and the Tennessee River.  To see a map detailing the areas to be served, please visit the 'Fiber Areas' tab on this website. The areas that will be included in this project are the zones labeled Georgetown, Blythe Ferry, and Parker Loop.

    A notice was placed in local newspapers during April 2019 soliciting a contractor to be utilized for the construction of phase 1 of this project. In June 2019, Davis H. Elliot Co Inc was awarded the winning bid. With a contractor now selected, the first phase of construction is set to begin within the next several weeks. The first zone that will be built is the Georgetown zone. Construction of the Georgetown zone will take approximately 4-5 months. During that time, solicitation for a contractor to be used in the construction of the second zone will be made. The second zone built will be determined in the weeks before construction, and will be based on the number of crowd fiber subscribers located in each of the two remaining zones. The zone with the most subscribers will be constructed first. Construction of the second zone will also take approximately 4-5 months. The bid process will be repeated for the final phase of construction, and completion of that zone will also take 4-5 months. The current anticipated end of the Birchwood fiber build-out is between October and November of 2020.


Spring Creek Construction Update

    On March 18, 2019, VEC was awarded a $1.3 million matching grant by the State of Tennessee. The money provided by this grant will be used to expand the VEC commercial broadband presence into the Spring Creek Community of McMinn County. The entire amount of the grant will be allocated to aid construction of the fiber infrastructure in Spring Creek. This expansion of broadband access will include areas surrounding Highway 30, between Interstate 75 and the Meigs County line. To see a map detailing the areas to be served, please visit the 'Fiber Areas' tab on this website. The areas that will be included in this project are the zones labeled Spring Creek, Idelwild, Clearwater, and Firetower. Construction of this project is currently scheduled to begin in either October or November 2019. With this project, we will begin construction with the Spring Creek zone. The first phase of construction will take 4-5 months to complete. The second zone built will be determined in the weeks before construction, and will be based on the number of crowd fiber subscribers located in each of the three remaining zones. The zone with the most subscribers will be constructed next. Construction of each of the remaining zones will take 4-5 months, and completion of the entire project is expected in early 2021.



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