DREMC lights first phase of fiber-loop construction

DREMC lights first phase of fiber-loop construction

Duck River Electric Membership Corporation (DREMC) recently lit four strands of fiber as part of completing the first phase of a 330-mile fiber optic loop that will eventually tie together the cooperative’s substations, mobile radio towers, district offices and its future system operations and dispatch facility in Shelbyville, Tennessee.

Phase one of DREMC’s fiber construction includes 73 miles of fiber that spans from Shelbyville to Lewisburg and continuing to Columbia. The route is being planned to incorporate as many three-phase devices as possible, which will improve power quality and reliability of the electric system.

“As the needs of our members continue to change and as the necessary technology required in the utility industry continues to advance, we must invest in better technology ourselves to provide reliable service – not only to our members but also for our own needs at Duck River for system operations and reliability,” says DREMC President and CEO Michael Watson.

DREMC’s Director of Operations Patrick Jordan, Watson and Cooper witness the first-ever lighting of fiber installed by the cooperative to enhance daily operations and service reliability.

“Electricity is the backbone of our rural communities,” says Watson. “From our hospitals to our schools, and from our industries to our rural farms, we all depend on electricity to be there every minute of every day so that we can continue to work, play and enjoy life as we know it,” he adds. “Constructing the first phase of the fiber loop across our service area will begin the process of connecting our substations and related equipment, our district offices and our new system operations center in efforts to enhance both communications and service reliability and will strengthen and position Duck River Electric to meet the growing needs of our members.”

“The installation of fiber is an investment in the future of DREMC, in our community and in our ability to further improve the services we provide our members,” says Barry Cooper, DREMC board chairman.

“The DREMC fiber loop is not to be confused with the need for broadband service for our members,” adds Cooper. “DREMC’s board and staff are examining all options related to the complex broadband issue. We understand the importance of broadband access for our communities; the challenge for us is how to implement broadband access in a way that is cost-effective and doesn’t undercut DREMC’s financial stability.”

For an update on DREMC’s position on broadband access for its members, click here.