2022 March NAEC The Messenger

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MARCH 2022

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 changing billing software NEXT, Powered by NAEC will switch software providers this month to Innovative Systems, a company with decades of experience in the telecommunications industry. Subscribers will notice a new bill design in April as well as a new, easier-to-navigate portal at mynextfiber.com in early March. The new portal will be accessed the same way: By visiting mynextfiber.com and clicking “Pay Your Bill” in the top right. Those who have a user ID and password for the old NEXT portal will receive an email in early March with a link to the new portal and a temporary password. Subscribers who never used the old portal will be able to create log-in credentials on the new portal once they receive their April statement with a new account number.

Subscribers with recurring payments Unfortunately, the software transition will stop all but one form of recurring payment. NEXT subscribers who previously set up automatic bank draft through a NEXT representative that drafts on or about the 10th business day of each month do not have to do anything. The draft will continue until NEXT is told to stop. All other scheduled payments will stop processing after March 4. This includes subscribers who set up a recurring payment using their debit or credit card and those who set up a recurring payment through the portal for their bank account. The new portal will allow subscribers to set up recurring payments. Subscribers also can call NEXT at 870-895-3221 to have a customer service representative set up the recurring payment over the phone after March 7. The new system will allow payments to be scheduled on the fifth, 10th or 14th of the month. We apologize for this inconvenience and understand if subscribers have questions. Please email info@naeci.com for assistance.

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. See 10,000 on back.

— 10,000

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. Up to five high school juniors will be selected to attend the allexpense-paid 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 — JANUARY 2022 Average Daily High: 46.14° compared to 46.8° in 2021


Average Daily Low: 21.54° compared to 29.53° in 2021 Total Rainfall Amount: 2.54” compared to 0” in 2021 Warmest Day: Jan. 24, 65.1° at 3 p.m. Coolest Day: Jan. 21, 8.6° at 6 a.m.


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

RIGHT-OF-WAY West Tree: Gamaliel area Asplundh: Brockwell, Oxford, Violet Hill, 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.




Applications for D.C. trip due March 18


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 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.” NEXT mails a packet to homes and businesses as construction of the fiber-optic network nears completion in an area. To see if NEXT is available at a home or business, enter the service address at mynextfiber.com or call 870-895-3221 and select NEXT.



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