2022 February NAEC The Messenger

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THE MESSENGER A Publication for North Arkansas Electric Cooperative Members

Subscribe to NEXT NEXT mails a packet to your home or business when construction nears completion in your area. Visit mynextfiber.com or call 870-895-3221. INTERNET Features symmetrical upload and download speeds with no data limits. We offer three packages: • Basic* (Speeds up to 100 Mbps) — $49.95 • Streaming (Speeds up to 300 Mbps) — $64.95 • Advanced (Speeds up to 1 Gbps) — $79.95 • Residential gateway/ router service — $4.95 PHONE Includes unlimited local and long-distance calling. • Residential phone — $27.95 • Battery backup — $5 TELEVISION Along with the four packages below, we offer whole-home DVR for an additional $10 as well as extra movie and sports packages. • Local HD — $38.95 • Complete HD — $95.95 • Advanced HD — $114.95 • Ultra HD — $155.95 • Set-top box — $6.95 BUNDLE AND SAVE • Three services = $12 off a month • Two services = $6 off *Reflects current residential pricing. Call 870-895-3221 or visit mynextfiber.com for complete price list, which includes business services.

NEXT outside plant technician Keith Guffey terminates fiber-optic cable on a pole that will deliver NEXT’s high-speed internet to Tracy Ferry Marina on Lake Norfork.

NEXT tops 10,000 subscribers North Arkansas Electric Cooperative’s fiber-optic subsidiary NEXT, Powered by NAEC reached a subscriber milestone in late 2021. More than 10,000 co-op members now have NEXT’s high-speed internet as well as the economic and educational advantages such access affords. NAEC formed NEXT in March 2016 as a pilot project to bridge the “digital divide” rural co-op members faced. It was to offer internet with speeds of up to 1 gigabit-per-second as well as phone and television services. “The pilot was a great success in regard to subscriber take-rates and satisfaction,” CEO Mel Coleman said. “It also validated our construction estimates and ensured we could build this vital communications infrastructure to the rest of the territory while being good stewards of our member-owned cooperative.” The NAEC Board of Directors approved expansion to the remainder of the co-op’s 30,000 members in mid-2018, and a fiveyear construction project began. “We must give credit to our NAEC and NEXT employees and contractors,” said Scott Hamby, NEXT vice president of operations. “Their dedication to the work at hand has allowed us to turn a five-year build into a four-year one. We plan to finish constructing the fiber-optic network to our remaining members by the end of 2022.” The fiber-optic line is built along the electric feeders out of NAEC’s substations. Construction is in progress now in and around Clarkridge, Gepp, Midway, Oakland, Tracy and Wirth. The first quarter of 2022 will see construction in the Mallard Point, Myron and Pineville areas. Brockwell, Gamaliel, Oxford, Violet Hill and surrounding areas will be next.

High-speed advantages NEXT not only benefits existing NAEC members, but its high-speed internet also makes our area attractive to people and businesses considering relocation, said Mike Beam, NEXT vice president of business strategy and development. “We’ve seen explosive growth from folks who are moving into our region and need true high-speed internet as they work and learn from home,” Beam said. “Real-estate See 10,000 on back.

— 10,000

ENERGY EFFICIENCY TIP OF THE MONTH About 30 percent of a home’s heating energy is lost through inefficient windows. Caulk and weatherstrip windows to seal air leaks. When running your home heating system, lock all operable windows to ensure the tightest seal possible. — U.S. Department of Energy

North Arkansas Electric Cooperative is accepting applications for the 2022 GElectric Cooperative C EORGIA EM Youth Tour. Four high school juniors will be selected to attend the all-expensepaid trip to Washington, D.C., June 17-23. The application is available at naeci.com/youth-tour and through high school counselors. NAEC must receive completed apELECTRIC COOPERATIVES plications by March 18. Please call OF SOUTH CAROLINA 870-895-6210 with any questions. MARATHON PROGRAM UPDATE — NAEC no longer will offer members the ability to lease or buy Marathon® water heaters. This change began Jan. 1 and only applies to new leases. The co-op will continue the lease program for existing participants at this time.

DAILY HIGHS & LOWS — DECEMBER 2021 Average Daily High: 62.62° compared to 51.3° in 2020


Average Daily Low: 37.04° compared to 27.62° in 2020 Total Rainfall Amount: 2.98” compared to 0” in 2020 Warmest Day: Dec. 2, 78.6° at 3 p.m. Coolest Day: Dec. 20, 20.7° at 7 a.m.


CONTACT NAEC 870-895-3221 info@naeci.com naeci.com

RIGHT-OF-WAY West Tree: Christensen Road in Mountain Home and Gamaliel Asplundh: Pineville, Calico Rock, Creswell and Hwy. 56 areas; Culp and Optimus areas in Stone County


ON THE FRONT A line crew replaces a pole outside of Hardy that was broken by a vehicle Jan. 14.



NEW NEXT STATEMENT DESIGN, PORTAL COMING — NEXT, Powered by NAEC will switch software providers in the coming weeks. The move will include a new bill design, an easier-to-navigate portal and a new app. We’ll provide more information soon and will email subscribers who use the current portal their new log-in information as soon as it is available, which should be by mid-March. For the latest on the transition, visit mynextfiber.com or facebook.com/NEXTbyNAEC. Subscribers also can call 870-895-3221.

Applications for D.C. trip due March 18


agents call often to determine if NEXT service is available at a specific home. I’ve spoken with new subscribers from Houston, Chicago and other major cities who say that NEXT’s internet in rural Arkansas outpaces the service they had.” On the business side, NEXT serves 911 call centers, retail stores, county government facilities, banks, medical offices and more. “Our goal of same-day service is a game-changer,” Beam said. “Businesses that require reliable, fast service choose NEXT. Feedback from one business owner who sells parts online said his previous provider’s frequent outages cost him thousands in lost sales.” NAEC formed more than 80 years ago to get electricity — that era’s “next greatest thing” — to rural communities in northern Arkansas. “Our mission all along has been to improve members’ quality of life,” CEO Coleman said. “NEXT is helping us do just that.” To see if NEXT is available at your home or business, enter your service address at mynextfiber.com or call 870-895-3221.