Tombigbee Electric Cooperative leverages Ribbon and KGPCo IP optical solutions to bring broadband access to rural customers

Via Ribbon Media Center

Jun 1, 2021

Plano, TX – Ribbon Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: RBBN), a global provider of real time communications software and IP Optical networking solutions to service providers, enterprises, and critical infrastructure sectors, today announced that Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, a provider of ultra-high speed internet and HD phone services to its member customers across Northwest Alabama, has selected Ribbon and KGPCo, the leading network solutions and services supplier to service providers, to upgrade its fiber network and help bring high speed access to its rural customers. Tombigbee is leveraging Ribbon’s Apollo IP Optical network solution and KGPCo’s hut locations, fiber, routers and Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) access systems to deliver broadband access to member customers in its most rural service areas.

“We were fortunate enough to be recipients of grants from the federal government’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and CARES Act and we want use these funds to deliver high speed broadband access to any of our member customers who want it,” said Steve Foshee, CEO of Tombigbee Electric Cooperative. ”Many of our members live in previously underserved areas and don’t have access to high-speed internet, so our goal is to make Northwest Alabama a Gigabit Ethernet Zone. Leveraging Ribbon’s advanced IP Optical platform and KGPCo’s industry-leading fiber, routing and access capabilities we are able to deliver ultra-high speed internet access and broadband to all of our customers, regardless of where they live.”

“Funding from the RDOF and CARES Act will go a long way in helping forward-thinking service providers like Tombigbee extend broadband service to those who have previously not had access,” said Steven Bruny, EVP Sales, Americas Region for Ribbon. “We are honored Tombigbee selected our IP Optical solutions to help upgrade their network. We are also extremely pleased to continue our strong partnership with KGPCo and offer Tombigbee an end-to-end turnkey solution.”

Bruny added, “The Apollo’s small form factor with integrated amplifiers and enhanced fiber health management capabilities, which provide early warnings of fiber issues, and pinpoints problems to within a few meters from a centralized network operations center, make it an ideal solution for rural service providers looking to expand their network reach.”

“We are proud to work with our partner Ribbon to deliver such a special project and be a key part in helping provide all Tombigbee customers the ability to have high speed broadband,” said Desi O’Grady SVP, Service Provider Sales for KGPCo. “Working with Ribbon, we delivered a comprehensive solution that enables Tombigbee to significantly extend the reach of their existing network.”

Using its existing public right of ways and ringed fiber network, Tombigbee leveraged Ribbon and KGPCo solutions to provide extended reach and an efficient, redundant means of carrying rural traffic back to main sites for fast routing to the internet. Now all Tombigbee customers who may have been limited to DSL speeds have access to 1 Gigabit home internet speeds. Ribbon’s Apollo IP optical transport and switching platform allows Tombigbee to optimize network traffic, enhance layer 1 security and lower the cost per bit.

Key Takeaways:

Tombigbee Electric Cooperative has selected Ribbon and KGPCo to help upgrade its communications network and achieve its goal of bringing high speed internet access to all member customers who want it. Tombigbee is leveraging grants it received from the U.S. government’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) and CARES Act to help fund the project. Ribbon’s Apollo IP Optical Transport platform allows for traffic optimization and KGPCo’s hut locations, routing, fiber and access systems enables Tombigbee to extend its high speed network reach to rural and previously underserved areas. Tombigbee is using its existing public Right of Way and leveraging Ribbon and KGPCo solutions to deliver the unique project. Independent Operating Companies (IOCs) and rural service providers are increasingly leveraging RDOF and CARES Act grants to help bridge the digital divide.

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