PLANO, Texas – DZS (NASDAQ: DZSI), a global leader in broadband connectivity platforms and communications software solutions, today announced the continued successful expansion of a major rural broadband transformation project being deployed by electric cooperative 4-County Electric Power Association (4-County) in East Central Mississippi in conjunction with DZS strategic partner Irby Utilities (Irby), a subsidiary of Sonepar USA who provides full scope fiber network solutions through its Technology and Communications business group.
Now in its second year of buildout, 4-County has moved beyond its successful pilot of DZS technology and Irby Utilities broadband network planning and deployment expertise to the aggressive expansion of its FASTnet Fiber program to its membership across nine counties. This program will be transformational to the region when it comes to fruition over the next few years, as 4-County lays over 3,700 miles of fiber to bring world-class gigabit+ services capabilities to over 40,000 homes and businesses.
Made possible by over $35 million in Rural Digital Opportunity Funds (RDOF) and millions more in CARES funding and committed investment by 4-County, the FASTnet Fiber program will also enable the cooperative to connect its critical electric infrastructure to a smart grid communications network.
With approximately 40,000 members and 50,000 meters along 5,500 miles of power lines, 4-County is already one of Mississippi's largest electrical cooperatives, serving a variety of residential, commercial and government customers, including a U.S. Air Force base, a large truck engine plant, a drone manufacturing facility and a steel mill that is the largest TVA power consumer in the Southeast.