CDE Lightband celebrated a pair of service milestones this week, announcing at a reception for government and business leaders that it had reached 20,000 broadband customers and 70,000 electric customers.
CDE Lightband is the City of Clarksville’s electric power utility with a fiber optic network that enables it to offer broadband services including digital TV, internet and phone service to homes and businesses in Clarksville.
“Years ago, our leadership took a leap of faith and made a plan to build a fiber network to improve our electric service and enter the broadband business,” General Manager Brian Taylor said. “Today, we can announce that in the 10 years since installing fiber, our broadband division has reached 20,000 customers and the fiber network has helped us grow to 70,000 electric customers.”
Mayor Kim McMillan applauded Taylor and the CDE Lightband team for achieving a high level of success in a short period of time.
“I’m immensely proud of what CDE Lightband has accomplished,” Mayor McMillan said. “From the early vision of the CDE leadership and Power Board, support from the City Council, and ultimately the approval by the City’s voters, adding the fiber network and broadband has been a success that pushed us ahead of other cities our size across the country.”
Taylor noted that the growth hadn’t come easy, and at times during the past decade the complicated addition of broadband had stressed the utility’s resources.
In 2006, Clarksville voters approved a $50 million bond issue to build the fiber network, which had the two-fold objective of improving the monitoring and meter reading of the electric system while enabling CDE to market broadband services to its customers. But the upgrade proved more expensive than planned and, at one point, the new broadband division had to borrow millions from the electric division.
Now, as the broadband division has expanded and added customers, it has steadily repaid the loans, while reporting strong cash flow and financial stability.
“Our success has improved Clarksville by providing reliable and affordable delivery of high-quality electric and broadband services to our community,” Taylor said. “I say thank you to the staff at CDE Lightband for working hard to make this happen, and to the Power Board and to Mayor McMillan and the City Council for their leadership and support. Finally, I want to thank our customers who have been supportive of this project with your business and referrals.”