Randy’s experience began in software development in the agriculture industry where lack of rural broadband quickly became very evident. In 1999, he began his first broadband project at a rural electric cooperative culminating in a 3,000 square mile fixed wireless network. In 2008, he joined Co-Mo Electric Cooperative as their information technology manager with the thought of launching fiber to the home service. Co-Mo’s service territory was one of the most underserved areas in the State of Missouri with only 15% of the population having broadband access. In 2010, Randy developed a plan for a pilot FTTH project that was promptly approved by Co-Mo’s board of directors. Randy developed an innovative architecture that lowered initial capital requirements but allowed success-based growth for capacity. In less than 12 months the pilot project was completed on time, 20% under budget, and today has over a 55% penetration rate.
Based on the pilot results, Randy developed a $70 million financial model and construction plan. Co-Mo began building 4,000 miles of fiber to the home to the coop’s entire 2,300 square mile service territory and Randy was appointed General Manager of Co-Mo Connect, the cooperative’s new telecommunication subsidiary. The Co-Mo project is the first in the nation privately funded cooperative fiber to the home project to serve every one of its members. Under his leadership, Co-Mo Connect launched the first gigabit residential service in rural America in 2014. The network provides gigabit broadband, high definition IPTV, and telephone service. With over 12,000 subscribers and growing daily, this project is now the defining standard of rural fiber optic builds. The project achieved its first break-even month 3 years ahead of projections. Many of the rural electric cooperative’s who have launched FTTH projects have learned from Co-Mo’s model.
After leading Co-Mo Connect, Randy was hired as General Manager of OzarksGo, a subsidiary of Ozarks Electric Cooperative. Randy developed the 6 phase plan and led the project through the second phase of 1,100 miles of construction and connections of thousands of subscribers.
In 2015, Randy formed Conexon, LLC to assist rural electric cooperatives with fiber to the home project decisions and implementations.