Metze to lead Alabama Fiber Network

Published 9:15 am Sunday, June 9, 2024

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Inaugural CEO selected to head the state’s middle-mile broadband coalition

Terry Metze

The Alabama Fiber Network (AFN), a coalition of eight electric co-ops — including Covington Electric Cooperative and PowerSouth Energy Cooperative — and key partners throughout the state, has announced the hiring of Terry Metze as its chief executive officer. AFN provides critical middle-mile connectivity to last-mile providers and community anchor institutions in the state of Alabama.

“We are excited about Mr. Metze’s hiring and welcome his vision for AFN,” said AFN Board Chairman and Central Alabama Electric Cooperative President & CEO, Tom Stackhouse. “His unique southeastern broadband network knowledge and expertise will prove invaluable to the dynamic and robust infrastructure AFN is delivering to the state of Alabama.”

Metze has extensive leadership experience in the broadband industry including a 25-year track record building and operating middle-mile networks from concept to successful launch and long-term operation in South Carolina. He also more than doubled revenues for a long-haul fiber optic network in Tennessee. His background in hiring staff, developing and growing customer relationships among last-mile and wireless broadband service providers and community anchor institutions, and growing revenue for novel telecom organizations was critical in AFN’s decision to ask Metze to lead the network.

“I am thrilled to join the Alabama Fiber Network and play a role in connecting Alabama to the future,” Metze said. “Initial phases of the network will be open for service late this summer. A major focus of my role will be to oversee the successful build out of the later phases and establishing relationships with last-mile wired and wireless broadband service providers, ensuring that Alabamians have the access needed to advance healthcare, education and economic development.”

AFN received over $200 million in grant funds from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority. AFN is crucial in Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Legislature’s statewide BeLinked plan to provide affordable, reliable access to all. With the investment of state leadership and the partnership of AFN owners, the network will be completed quicker than a typical build for a network of this size and scale. At full buildout the AFN will one of the most comprehensive state-based middle-mile networks in the U.S.