In conjunction with International Gimme Fiber Day, the Fiber Broadband Association awarded its 2021 Charles Kao Award to Tombigbee Communications’ CEO Steve Foshee on November 4.
“This award recognizes an operator that has provided fiber in a way that significantly benefits their community, and Tombigbee was at the top of our list,” Gary Bolton, FBA President and CEO, said. “We have been very excited about the success Tombigbee has had in delivering high-speed broadband to rural Alabama.”
As the state’s first broadband partnership between an investor-owned utility and an electric cooperative, Tombigbee Communications teamed up with Alabama Power to use existing infrastructure to offer fiber services.
“I’ve seen Tombigbee’s deployment in person and it’s so impressive, and to see how they’re growing is just phenomenal,” Katie Espeseth, FBA Board Chair, said. “If there’s one person who has their heart in the right place as to why they want to do this and who has real world results, it’s Steve Foshee.”
Espeseth added that Tombigbee’s model is a true testament to what fiber can achieve in a community.
“It’s not many times in one’s life they can redo history in some ways, back to the 1930’s,” Foshee said. “I have a great admiration for what those people did. We’re simply trying to carry that legacy forward into the 21st Century and look at it the same way: to not leave a family behind, and to greatly improve our community.”
The FBA awards the Dr. Charles Kao Award annually on International Gimme Fiber Day. Hear more about how FBA celebrated the event this year by reading what industry leaders shared in our #GimmeFBA Twitter Chat.