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Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative began when a group of farmers decided to bring electricity to their rural area. On July 11, 1945, a representative from Sequoyah County met with 48 rural leaders at the Sequoyah County Courthouse. Following a full explanation of the Rural Electrification Program by a REA representative from Stillwater, the farmers voted to accept a plan to proceed to obtain memberships in an electric cooperative and to run electric lines to southeastern Oklahoma.
After redistricting and dividing territories, the Articles of Incorporation were filed on October 8, 1945. The first meeting of the Board of Trustees was held October 16, 1945, at Stigler, Oklahoma. On March 13, 1946, the REA approved the first loan for $305,000 for the construction of 200 miles of electric distribution and service lines. The mission of CHEC still revolves around providing safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our members.
Fast-forward to October 2020 when the Board of Trustees and General Manager committed to serving our members in a new endeavor. The decision was made to form a new subsidiary, Cookson Hills Connect, and offer fiber-to-the-home for every member throughout the entire CHEC service territory. This life-changing technology will have a lasting impact on our rural families and communities. Cookson Hills Connect is committed to providing fast, reliable and affordable service to each and every customer, much like the founders of Cookson Hills Electric did back in the 1940’s. This new opportunity is an exciting time for us at Cookson Hills Connect, and we are grateful for the opportunity to serve our valued customers and communities for years to come.
Our electric cooperative is building a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network – the gold standard of communications transmission – over its existing electric distribution infrastructure that will take fiber directly into homes and businesses and deliver reliable, high-speed internet services.
This three- year FTTH buildout, encompassing 2,500 miles of fiber, will ultimately reach 100% of Cookson Hills Electric members. The buildout will provide access to broadband benefits for over 18,000 rural Oklahoma homes and businesses.
Planning has been under way for some time as Cookson Hills Electric explored the possibility of delivering high-speed internet to our members. Construction began in Summer 2021.
The buildout will be completed in phases, and eventually, it will reach all of our 14,000+ members. We will announce our phases/locations as they are decided.
We operate offices in Stigler and Sallisaw, OK, among our considerations, we took into account whether the area was unserved or underserved, population density, total buildout cost, the number of potential subscribers and revenue projections in deciding where to start. All of these factors helped determine our buildout plans.
At anytime you can click the “Check Availability” button at the top of the page and enter in your information to see if fiber internet service is available in your area. We encourage you to follow us on Facebook for zone opening announcements and to preregister if you haven’t already done so. Preregistering and providing your email lets us easily notify you with specific construction updates and when fiber service will be available in your area.
No. Electric rates will not be raised to subsidize the buildout or deployment.
Fiber-optic systems are made up of tiny strands of glass that carry data using light waves, resulting in much faster internet speeds and better reliability than traditional copper lines. Most internet providers use fiber in their systems but use copper lines for the final connections to the home, resulting in slower speeds. Cookson Hill Connect believes FTTH is the best, most sustainable communications choice. With our FTTH service, we offer “symmetrical” speeds, meaning you’ll enjoy the same high speeds whether uploading or downloading.
A fiber-optic network sends and receives data at the speed of light. In addition to super-fast transmission speeds, a fiber optic network can carry an extremely high amount of data. Fiber is also more reliable than other networks, because it’s less susceptible to interference and damage from lightning and other acts of nature.
Broadband commonly refers to high-speed internet access that is always on and faster than traditional dial-up access and wireless. Broadband fiber-optic networks can deliver voice, data, video and email services over the internet.
Through Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative's subsidiary, Cookson Hills Connect, which will offer fiber internet and telephone services to members within the area. The subsidiary is a separate company and will be managed separately from the electric cooperative. While Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative will manage its electric grid to provide electricity across our service territory, members will get their broadband services through Cookson Hills Connect. Members will be billed separately for their electric service and their broadband service.
Cookson Hills Connect offers the Cookson Hills Basic service 100 megabits (Mbps) per second upload and download speeds (symmetrical service) for $54.95 and the Cookson Hills Thrive (1 gigabit) per second upload and download speeds for $84.95.
Yes. Potential subscribers are encouraged to preregister for services. You can pre-register here: https://cooksonhills.smarthub.coop/Login.html#
There are no data caps or bandwidth throttling (intentional slowing or speeding of internet service) with this service.
Cookson Hills Connect is also offering voice (VoIP) service for $24.99.
Installation service installations have started in some areas. We encourage potential subscribers to preregister through the portal as early as possible to get one the installation. We will send out postcards, emails and automated calls to members as their locations become eligible for installation service.
Once you sign up for service, fiber installation is fairly simple and non-invasive. We pull fiber from our main lines and follow power lines to attach the fiber to your home or business. The fiber will be hung or buried underground. Next, we attach the fiber line to a box where the home/business inside wiring connects with the outside wiring. Finally, the fiber is connected to a fiber jack inside your home or office, where it’s plugged into the modem we provide. In essence, the construction crews pulling and hanging the fiber and taking it to your house’s outside wiring are preparing the network to go live once construction in the area is complete. One of our member relations representatives will contact you to schedule an appointment for an in-home installer to finalize your connection and test the services from your equipment. Once the installation is complete and tested, your service should be ready to go.
Fiber construction often involves digging or trenching and our trucks to be in the neighborhoods. Our contractors are trained to minimize any damage, and should any occur, to repair before leaving the job.
Our communities have long suffered from a lack of broadband equality – access to the same speeds and capabilities as those in less rural areas. Broadband availability across our service area will help close the digital divide between those who have access to advanced technology and those who don’t. A few of the many advantages of broadband access are:
In addition, by connecting our electric substations and offices with fiber, we will create a smart grid with more automation capabilities to better serve our members. Smart grid capabilities – the standard for optimum electric infrastructure – allows our devices to communicate with each other and delivers benefits such as improved power outage response times, better load balancing, more efficient electricity delivery and others.
Our sole reason for offering high-speed internet services is to meet the needs of members like you. You will no longer have to rely on DSL, fixed wireless or satellite internet to stay connected online. You will be able to stream high-definition media smoothly and quickly, have the data capacity to download and upload data such as files, photos and videos at super-fast speeds, and have access to the latest technological advancements and applications.
Our FTTH world-class service will be reliable, affordable and backed by your local, trusted co-op. You will be able to run multiple devices – such as cell phones, computers and laptops – simultaneously in your home or business without decreased download and upload speeds. The table below gives you a speed comparison between what you may have now and what’s possible with FTTH:
|*||Typical DSL / Wireless / Satellite (3 Mbps)||Standard internet speed (25 Mbps)||FIBER INTERNET
Up to 1000 Mbps (Gigabit)
|Download 100 photos||14.7 minutes||1.8 minutes||2.6 seconds|
|Download HD movie||4.8 hours||34.4 minutes||51.5 seconds|
|Download 50 Songs||8.2 minutes||1 minute||1.5 seconds|
|Download 50GB Game||39.8 hours||4.8 hours||7.2 minutes|
*Download speeds calculated using the following averages:
Phone Photo – 3.15 MB
HD movie – 6 GB
Song – 3.5 MB
Game – 50 GB
No, you can sign up for the services individually. Phone services are anticipated to be available in 2022.
Cookson Hills Connect phone service uses Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology. Calls you make are processed over the public telephone switched network, which results in a higher quality call than traditional VoIP calls.
In the majority of cases, yes. We sign agreements with various carriers to “port” phone numbers to the new service.