By leveraging bulk pricing and strategic partnerships, Seven States is working to stand up a valley-wide fiber transport network to fully interconnect utilities in the Tennessee Valley. The “Middle Mile” fiber optic network, owned and operated by local power companies (LPCs), will enable grid modernization of the electric system, offer operational efficiencies, and enhance reliability for consumers and communities across the seven-state region.

As Seven States continues its work to interconnect the 153 LPCs in the Valley, the power of partnerships has never been more important. Seven States assembled a team of 15 subject matter experts (SMEs) from across the Valley, including 13 LPC SMEs with representation from each of the seven districts. Additionally, Seven States and Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are looking at potential future collaborations related to the middle mile network to evaluate research and development project opportunities.

“Oak Ridge National Laboratory is excited to see Seven States work to build out a middle mile fiber network across the Tennessee Valley,” said Jeff Cornett, Manager of Industrial Partnerships and Economic Development at ORNL. “As I see in my day-to-day work, the region needs affordable, high-speed broadband to support several critical areas, education, healthcare, innovation and economic development. A middle mile network that provides secure, reliable communications will put communities across the valley in a prime position for recruitment and create a real competitive advantage over other sites under consideration. We also are working with Seven States to understand the best options for cost-effective last-mile buildout as we work toward a shared goal of connectivity across our region.”

Seven States Senior Vice President of Engineering and Market Innovation Clint Wilson will provide an update on the middle mile project at the Fiber Broadband Association’s upcoming annual conference, which will be held July 25-28 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Fiber Connect 2021 will offer new and unique opportunities for business development, market development, technology demonstration, and peer-group interaction. Seven States’ session will be held Monday, July 26 at 3:30 p.m. CT.

To register, visit Seven States members will receive a 25% discount on registration fees with the promo code “7SPC”.