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Accord Announces New Members and Expansion Plans

April 20, 2023

Accord Announces New Members and Expansion Plans

New Members Support Expanded Vision for Accord Telecommunications Collaborative

Indianapolis, IN – Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC, a middle-mile provider in the Midwest, now welcomes four new member-owners and announces plans for future expansion.

The most recent additions include Berry Communications, LLC, Mainstream Fiber Networks, LLC, Rochester Telephone Company, and Surf Internet.

“We are excited to add these new member-owners. Accord is gaining experienced transport operators who identify with Accord’s vision, and this is another example of Accord’s willingness to welcome like-minded service providers with varying backgrounds,” said Jerry Haver, Accord Vice President, Business Administration.

“We are now leveraging member participants with vast experience in the middle-mile transport space. We’ve put the original group of local transport industry experts back together to accomplish something unique with Accord. We have key members who’ve done all of this before, and we are excited to participate in a network with greater reach, and leveraging that experience to accomplish something new, something unique, with Accord,” said Cory Childs, President of Berry Communications, LLC.

With these new members, Accord is not only expanding its network footprint, but also introducing the next step in its long-term strategic vision.

“Accord is taking a major step toward the vision of being a multi-state service provider,” said John Sturm, Accord Secretary-Treasurer and CEO of JCREMC.

Accord plans to leverage member assets in Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana, and is actively pursuing relationships with potential partners in other states as well.

“The middle-mile landscape is changing quickly. There are many new players in the fiber broadband space, and folks are starting to realize that as a collective, we can be quite large. We need each other if we are going to build something great and secure the future of rural America. We are more alike than we are different, and that’s the key realization. These new players are opening previously unserved areas, and Accord is poised to help both existing and new players recognize and realize the benefits of joining a large, diverse, middle-mile network,” said James Tanneberger, Accord Vice President, Business Development and President and CEO of South Central Indiana REMC (SCI REMC).

“After two decades of working together with many of the other Accord members to bring high-speed broadband to the Great Lakes region, we are excited to formally join the collaborative and share in this common vision. We’re proud to be a member-owner, accelerating the transformation of rural, underserved areas by leveraging our expansive, growing fiber network across northern Indiana, central Michigan, and Illinois,” said Gene Crusie, CEO of Surf Internet.

Bryan Gabriel, CEO of Mainstream Fiber Networks said, “We are excited to be a strong partner in this collaborative effort dedicated to connecting rural communities to the world through fiber optic infrastructure. By teaming up with Accord, we will be able to reach new heights in improving access, developing more secure connectivity plans and helping residents in Indiana and beyond bridge the digital divide.”

Joe McCarter, President of RTC Fiber Communications added, “In today’s connected world, fiber broadband has become more important than ever. RTC is excited for the opportunities Accord will provide to rural communication carriers throughout the State of Indiana.”

Accord has deployed a transport network sourced from its regional hub at Henry Street in Indianapolis and is now providing 100 Gig transport services to member-owners Jackson County REMC and SCI REMC. Both entities are using these services to provide more reliable and affordable broadband to their respective commercial and residential users.

“We now have redundancy through a new, unique path to Henry Street that was never available before Accord,” said Mark McKinney, CEO of Jackson County REMC.

Accord also has plans to expand its fiber-based transport network to several other regional hubs with ensuing phases. In 2022, Accord first announced its unique collaboration to create the largest contiguous, fiber-based network in Indiana.

“That was the first step. We knew our large footprint and combination of experience would allow us to bring new, reliable data services to the businesses of Indiana, especially those in and around rural communities. Now, we are finding other partners with differing backgrounds and in different locations who are willing to take a non-conventional approach to build on similar ideas. We are joining forces to take these benefits to other parts of the country, and we are all about finding the win-win scenarios,” said Tanneberger.

From its Martinsville base in central Indiana, Accord is bringing a new level of collaboration to the state and the nation, representing a willing mix of partners working together to provide reliable telecom services through unique routes. Accord now has independent broadband providers, traditional telephone companies, and broadband providing electric cooperatives in its membership.

“Our granular reach and local presence are what make this network special. We are Rural America. We are the core service providers in our individual communities. Accord isn’t just a long-haul provider. Through our member-owners, we also represent the local providers in the communities we serve. It’s the access to our local member networks that sets us apart. Today, our member-owners have over 25,000 miles of fiber that runs right up to the front door of rural America, and we are growing. Through access to critical infrastructure and services, we are changing the game and opening some of the most beautiful parts of our country as not only great places to visit, but now also great places to live and do business,” said Tanneberger.


About Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC
Accord is owned by 21 service providers who provide critical and life-enhancing services to their communities. Accord and its owners maintain thousands of miles of fiber, ready to provide access to telecom providers and robust services to business customers. Visit, email, or call (765) 343-3910 for additional information.

About Berry Communications, LLC

In 2015 BerryComm was formed with the purpose of providing broadband throughout the north-central region of Indiana and beyond. BerryComm owns and operates fiber optic networks that deliver gigabit speeds. The company is continually expanding its network into communities with the mission of positively transforming lives one community at a time. To learn more, visit

About Mainstream Network

Founded in Nashville, Indiana, Mainstream Fiber Networks is a Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) internet service provider that understands the need for affordable, high-speed internet in Indiana’s rural communities. Mainstream’s success is based on its customer satisfaction and its partnership with the local communities we serve. To learn more, visit

About Rochester Telephone Company

Rochester Telephone Company was founded in 1895 in Rochester, Indiana. From stringing the first phone line back then to offering gigabit Internet, voice, and TV services today, RTC has stayed true to our mission of putting the community first. Empowering the residents and businesses of north-central Indiana with high-quality services has been, and will continue to be, our number one focus. As much as we appreciate our past, our eyes are focused on the future. To learn more, visit or contact Lesley Bowers at or 574-223-0209.

About Surf Internet

Surf Internet is an innovative fiber-optic internet company that serves as the essential gateway to connectivity across the Great Lakes Region of Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan. The company is building a bridge to the wide-open future by delivering high-speed, reliable internet to homes and businesses in underserved, rural communities. Surf’s 140-plus-person team is local, giving them an edge when it comes to customer care and advocacy for the region. Headquartered in Elkhart, IN, Surf also has offices in La Porte, IN, Byron Center and Fowlerville, MI, and Coal City and Rock Falls, IL. Learn more at

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Accord Creates Statewide Fiber Network in Indiana

June 14, 2022

Accord Creates Statewide Fiber Network in Indiana

21 Electric and Telephone Cooperatives form Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC

Indianapolis, IN – Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC, a consortium of electric and telephone cooperatives, announced its formation today. By leveraging the vast fiber assets of its electric and telephone cooperative member-owners, Accord will be able to propel Indiana to be the most connected state in the nation.

Through Accord’s unique collaboration, it will create one of the largest contiguous, fiber-based networks in the state. The company’s formation comes at a critical time for Indiana as various state and federal agencies prepare to distribute billions of dollars toward middle-mile and fiber-to-the-home deployments.

“Our vast footprint means we can bring reliable data services to both residents and businesses of Indiana, especially those in and surrounding rural communities,” said Scott Schroeder, Accord Vice-Chair and Chief Technology Officer of RTC Communications.

Accord is owned by 21 electric and telephone cooperative service providers who offer communications, and in many cases, electric services to roughly 75 percent of Indiana’s land mass. In total, Accord’s member-owners currently own 20,000 miles of fiber optic infrastructure valued at more than $1 billion. Additionally, the companies providing electric services have approximately 40,000 miles of electric lines, which broadens opportunities to expand data service coverage throughout the state.

Collectively, Accord’s member-owners serve more than 300,000 Hoosier homes and businesses.

“Our goal is to work with fellow providers of all kinds to bring world-class fiber connectivity and services to residents, providers and businesses throughout Indiana and beyond,” said James Tanneberger, Accord Chair and President and CEO of South Central Indiana REMC.

Accord features vast geographic and financial diversity with a mix of electric and telephone cooperatives and an even split of ownership between northern and southern Indiana. This span creates a regional network of owned fiber assets, placing Accord in a unique financial position to support Indiana’s communications needs. In most cases, Accord will use the owned assets of its member-owners rather than lease or purchase fiber from others. This advantage gives Accord a strong financial foundation for success.

“Accord stands ready to coordinate with other networks and providers to greatly improve access throughout the state of Indiana, all while increasing economic growth and helping bridge the digital divide,” said Tony Clark, Accord Board Member and CEO and General Manager of SEI Communications.

From its Martinsville base in central Indiana, Accord will bring a new level of collaboration to the state and the nation, representing a willing mix of non-traditional partners coming together for a greater good.

“While Accord is starting with a base of cooperatives, we are in no way meant to be exclusive. We simply wanted to set up the company in a way that fits our business model; a model that can work for any other potential partners as well. Having accomplished that, we are ready to partner with providers of all kinds,” said Tanneberger.

“Our electric cooperative member-owners have built massive fiber networks for purposes of improving electric reliability through implementation of smart grid technologies,” said John Sturm, Accord Secretary-Treasurer, CEO of JCREMC and President of JCFiber. “We have also brought high speed internet to our members in some of the least populated parts of the state. Add to that the impressive networks that our telephone cooperative member-owners built to bring broadband to their footprints, and you have quite a large inventory of assets. Now we have an opportunity to leverage those assets and take things to the next level to create something special for the state of Indiana.”

“The strength of Accord is that it represents a collaboration of 21 local, non-profit cooperatives that are focused on bringing a community-based solution for connectivity. This will ensure our state is not dependent on out-of-state, for-profit investors to improve the quality of life and place across rural Indiana,” said Mike Burrow, Accord Board Member and CEO of NineStar Connect.

Accord expects to be a part of several more announcements in the coming weeks as it partners with various other providers around the state in the shared vision of “Making Indiana the Most Connected State.”


About Accord Telecommunications Collaborative, LLC
Accord is owned by 21 service providers who provide critical and life-enhancing services to their communities. Accord and its owners maintain thousands of miles of fiber, ready to provide access to telecom providers and robust services to business customers. Visit, email, or call (765) 343-3910 for additional information.

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