GVEC Fiber, which utilizes the world’s fastest, most reliable internet technology, started as a pilot project. That project formally launched in La Vernia as GVEC Fiber to the Home in 2013. Our reasons for developing and launching GVEC Fiber were much the same as the reasons that drove GVEC’s founders to launch the Cooperative back in 1938: We didn’t want the Guadalupe Valley getting left behind.
Response to the pilot confirmed what research, data, word-of-mouth and our own intuition had long suggested regarding internet connectivity in the Guadalupe Valley: People in the communities we serve were hungry for fast, reliable internet at an affordable price.
An Old Cooperative Mission for the Internet Age
In the years leading up to GVEC Fiber’s launch, profit-driven corporate ISPs were expanding high-speed internet access across the urban cityscapes where they did business more quickly with each year. Meanwhile, residents across GVEC’s service territory—many of whom live in rural areas—were being largely overlooked by these same “big city” ISPs. Why? Because building fiber networks to rural areas where there aren’t nearly as many homes and businesses as compared to urban settings, simply isn’t profitable enough for large ISPs to justify the investment.
For GVEC, this was a “déjà vu all over again” situation, reminding us of our founding more than 80 years ago. Back then, big, profit-driven electric utilities refused to build service lines out into the rural areas of the Guadalupe Valley. Why? There simply weren’t enough homes and businesses in those areas to make building electric infrastructure a profitable endeavor. Seen from this perspective, delivering high speed internet service built on the most up-to-date technologies to the communities we serve created a 21st-century extension of the mission upon which GVEC launched back in 1938.
The Acceleration of GVEC Fiber Expansion
Before the end of 2013, we completed 869 residential passings through our GVEC Fiber to the Home pilot, with a total of 936 total passings. The extra passings from 870 to 936 represent “point of interest,” passings, including commercial businesses and downline devices.
This initial, robust response was the consumer “greenlight” we’d been hoping for, leading us to pursue further expansion. In the years since, GVEC Fiber has grown at a rapidly increasing pace.
GVEC Fiber Expansion Gets Two Major Government Boosts
More recently, two important developments have helped greatly accelerate our drive to expand Fiber. The first of these boosts came in 2018 when the IRS reclassified rural broadband as a “like” activity, eligible to in the same way GVEC sells electricity. This change allowed us to convert GVEC Internet to a division of the Cooperative and maximize resources to enhance operational efficiency.
The second important development, which was even more crucial to GVEC Fiber’s expansion, came in 2019 with the passage of Texas Senate Bill 14. This bill allowed electric cooperatives like GVEC to begin adding fiber internet technology to existing electric infrastructure without obtaining additional easements. Under this bill, the easements already granted for electricity were automatically valid for adding fiber. This was a huge development, saving the Cooperative work-hours and expense in obtaining easements that amounted to little more than a technicality.
GVEC Fiber Expansion: Availability Numbers
So how much progress have we made in expanding Fiber’s footprint across the Cooperative’s service territory? The following chart provides an overview of our ongoing Fiber expansion from 2013 to September 2020:
|Year||Total Passings (homes and businesses with access to GVEC Fiber)|
|2020 (to date)||24,600*|
As of this writing, we project around 34,000 total passings completed by 2025.
GVEC Fiber Expansion: Subscriber Numbers
As of September 2020, there are 8,616 total GVEC Fiber subscribers. This outstanding rate reflects the fact that residents across the Guadalupe Valley remain hungry for fast, reliable internet at an affordable price. GVEC Fiber delivers precisely that.
The Difference is Pure Fiber
We build GVEC Fiber with 100% fiber-optic cable along every yard of network, including right up to your door and into your home. Other fiber networks often use old, preexisting copper-based infrastructure to deliver internet the remaining few yards into the home. No other technology is faster or more stable than 100% fiber.
To find out if Fiber’s available in your neighborhood in Cibolo, Cuero, Geronimo, Gonzales, Hickory Forest, La Vernia, Marion, McQueeney, New Berlin, New Braunfels, Stockdale, Schertz, Seguin, Shiner or York Creek or to sign up, call 800.699.4832; or visit our Internet Availability Map.
*Please note: Count differences between the numbers listed above and the 2019 GVEC Annual Report are due to revisions in counting methodologies, including the types of connections included in the totals and the types of connections excluded. Moving forward, all totals will be based on the counting method deployed in the above table.