MONTGOMERY (July 31, 2023) — Fiber Utility Network, Inc. (FUN)— a coalition of eight electric co-ops
and their subsidiaries and key partners dedicated to expediting a world-class, middle-mile broadband
backbone across Alabama — announced today that Vantage Point Solutions (VPS) has been named
engineering firm of record for the coalition’s 3,000-mile network of both existing and new fiber
infrastructure across 64 counties statewide.
“The Fiber Utility Network has spent countless hours conceptualizing how to lower costs and improve
backbone capabilities needed by broadband providers in Alabama, particularly those in rural areas, with
access to the Internet in a visionary way,” said FUN Chairman and Central Alabama Electric Cooperative
President/CEO Tom Stackhouse. “The selection of an engineering and design firm is a key decision that
will make this vision a reality. Vantage Point Solutions has done extensive work in the state and was the
clear winner of a competitive process to select this important middle-mile implementation partner.”
VPS offers comprehensive engineering and consulting services tailored to the unique needs of
broadband providers and other network operators. In Alabama, specifically, the firm will provide
detailed design for network equipment, evaluating existing fiber, designing new fiber builds,
implementing new equipment huts and providing operational and project management support.
“The vision for Fiber Utility Network is a game changer for Alabama,” says Chad Glanzer, President of
Vantage Point Solutions and one of the engineers overseeing the project. “We’re pleased to be named
the engineering firm of record and have enjoyed working with coalition members as initial plans have
taken shape. Our team is looking forward to helping bring this great project to life for Alabama’s
The Fiber Utility Network is co-op led and is comprised of Central Alabama Electric Cooperative, Coosa
Valley Electric Cooperative, Covington Electric Cooperative, Cooperative Connection LLC (a subsdiary of
Cullman Electric Cooperative), JWEMC Communications LLC (a subsidiary of Joe Wheeler Electric
Membership Cooperative), North Alabama Electric Cooperative, Tombigbee Electric Cooperative and
PowerSouth Energy Cooperative — alongside fiber lease partner Alabama Power Company. In
September 2022, Gov. Kay Ivey announced that FUN would receive an $82,450,000 grant by way of the
American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for the creation of a statewide middle-mile network.
By using member co-op and Alabama Power’s existing fiber assets as over 80% of the network’s fiber
backbone, members will ultimately provide their communities with enhanced upstream capabilities —
more capacity and more resiliency at a better value — all while enhancing rural healthcare and
education support in areas served.
“Without Gov. Ivey and her providing us with a generous ARPA grant, our vision as a coalition would
have been delayed and progress to Alabama’s rural counties stalled for an unforeseen amount of time,”
said Stackhouse. “We are thankful for her shared vision for a connected Alabama and for making
statewide broadband access a key focus of her administration.”
VPS has already begun work to activate FUN’s existing fiber segments of the FUN network with a
targeted active network in 2024. FUN’s next phase — set for completion by 2026 — will be construction
of an anticipated 500 miles of new fiber.
Additionally, FUN is developing marketing and branding materials that will be announced prior to a
formal project launch.
“This is an exciting chapter in our story, and we look forward to working with our member co-ops, our
partners, Alabama’s economic development leaders, and rural broadband ISP customers, in order to
serve our communities and the people of Alabama as middle-mile implementation begins,” added