GENESEE — Tri-Co Connections hooked up its 500th customer on Friday morning, celebrating a milestone.

Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, through its high-speed internet subsidiary, Tri-Co Connections, has been working to bring access to high-speed internet to the entire Tri-County service territory. The project is estimated to take six years and deploy 2,800 miles of fiber line.

Andrew and Karen Felicetti live in a rural area of Genesee, where they weren’t able to access reliable high-speed internet.

“It’s been frustrating,” Karen said. She has grandchildren who live in Virginia and they often Skype together, but lack of high-speed internet can make that difficult.

Bill Gerski, senior VP of business development at Tri-Co Connections, said the Felicettis signed up the 1,000 megabits per second, which is the highest package Tri-Co Connections offers.

“He was getting about 20 megabits per second,” Gerski said.

In a written statement, Craig Eccher, president and CEO of Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative, Inc., said they are “excited to have the opportunity to continue to deliver high-speed, fiber-optic Internet service to the homes, farms and businesses across our service region.”

Gerski agreed.

““Our goal is to end the educational, economic and social inequalities that exist due to the digital divide between rural and urban areas,” he said. “Installing our 500th customer means that we are on our way to making this a reality.

Tri-County Rural Electric Cooperative Board Member Nick Reitter gave credit to everyone who has been working on this project.

“Tri-County is excited to connect its 500th member to the fiber internet. We’ve been working on this for several years, a lot of people, time and effort went into making this happen,” Reitter said.

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