Officials at United Cooperative Services announced the hiring of a new vice president of broadband services.

Marcellus Nixon, former head of global internet edge engineering at Amazon Web Services, will lead the implementation of United’s broadband initiative following overwhelming positive response from members and a unanimous vote from the cooperative’s board of directors earlier this year to provide United members with high-speed broadband internet service.

“I am both honored and humbled to join United and play a part in leading the historic high-speed broadband internet initiative for our members,” Nixon said. “To the credit of the executive and leadership team, the most important work, the presentation to the board, their approval and contribution from the broadband design consultant has already been done. With very thorough planning underpinning in place, we are in a great position to realize our objectives. Based on what I have seen, I am confident that we will exceed expectations.”

Nixon said quality of life in United’s service territory will be improved due to broadband in many ways, but four are key. First, members can expect increased access to education and medical services. Second, businesses will be able to grow because access to their goods and services is no longer defined by geography. Third, the broadband network can be leveraged to increase efficiency on the power utility side of the business. Fourth, area job growth likely will follow the implementation of high-speed broadband internet.

Some of Nixon’s other career experiences include serving as senior director of network operations and engineering for Verizon Digital Media Services, head of internet architecture for Reliance JIO in Mumbai, India, and director of global network services for ESPN.

He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, and he served as a signal support specialist in the U.S. Army.

CEO Cameron Smallwood said he looks forward to working with Nixon as the Broadband commences in 2020.

“When it came to finding the right person to fill our new vice president position, we took our time and interviewed many applicants,” Smallwood said. “We knew that the person we wanted needed not only to understand the broadband business, but also understand what it means to work at a cooperative and serve our members first. Our members are familiar with United’s success in providing safe, reliable and affordable electric distribution service, and they will come to expect that same exceptional service and value from the broadband service they asked us to provide. It is clear that Marcellus is the right person for the job to do both. I look forward to working with him in meeting our mission of providing our members with exceptional service and value.”

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