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23-Apr-2019BARC Receives Cornerstone Award from Broadband Communities Magazine

BARC Connects recognized as first internet service provider launched by an electric cooperative in the Commonwealth of Virginia

For Immediate Release

Contact: Tish Blackwell, 800-846-2272 (tblackwell@barcelectric.com)


Millboro, VA BARC Electric Cooperative (BARC) announced Tuesday that it recently received Broadband Communities (BBC) Magazine’s 2019 Cornerstone award. The award is given annually to organizations to recognize notable achievements in building Fiber-to-the-Home networks. 

Nominated by Alianza, the voice platform provider for BARC Connects, BARC was recognized for its achievement of being the first internet service provider launched by an electric cooperative in the Commonwealth of Virginia and its notable deployment of Fiber-to-the-Home in the BARC service territory, beginning in Rockbridge County, Virginia. 

BARC also received kudos for its approach to marketing, including its “BARC if you want broadband” campaign, and the creation of Butch, the BARC mascot. 

In accepting the award, BARC CEO Mike Keyser stated that, “The people of the Shenandoah Valley and Alleghany mountain region are clamoring for modern broadband. As a highly unserved geographic area, to date they’ve relied on dial-up, DSL, or satellite. BARC Connects is now delivering fixed residential and commercial packages beginning at 50 Mbps download/10 Mbps upload and up to gigabit speed, at affordable prices.”

BARC Electric first brought electricity to the community in 1939. Five years ago, BARC recognized that a fiber-optic network is key to operating and maintaining a modern electric grid, and set to work developing a business plan. BARC’s fiber deployment enables it to better monitor and optimize the electric grid, while BARC Connects is leveraging this investment to deliver a suite of modern broadband solutions to its community. 

Reliable broadband service is fundamental to stabilizing and growing the region’s population and boosting its economic potential—it also feeds the electric co-op as people and jobs stay (or increase), the meters and revenue base is stabilized too. 

“Every day we are connecting new customers to our broadband network, and hearing new stories about how our service is improving their quality of life. It’s been very rewarding to hear those stories,” stated Mr. Keyser. 

About the BBC Cornerstone Award 

Each year, a committee of industry leaders, analysts, and writers selected by Broadband Communities Magazine votes to bestow Cornerstone Awards to private developments, municipalities, communities, companies, and individuals with outstanding accomplishments in the area of delivering telecommunications for the benefit of the end user. Since 2004, Cornerstone awards have included recognition for the most notable deployments of Fiber-to-the-Home in the U.S. and abroad. The Cornerstone Awards have been expanded to include and recognize achievements in broadband and telecommunications for all communities and municipalities, including residential multifamily (apartments, campus housing, active adult communities) and planned communities (multi-home developments, renewed urban areas). 

About BARC 

BARC Electric Cooperative is a customer-owned electric cooperative serving 13,000 residents, farms and businesses across five counties in Virginia. To continue to serve and meet the needs of its members, BARC constructed the first community solar garden in the Commonwealth and provides high-speed Internet, telephone and television service through BARC Connects, its wholly-owned fiber-to-the-home subsidiary. This institution is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To learn more about all the exciting things happening at BARC, visit www.barcelectric.com and www.barcconnects.net.