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The Central Office is Key to Broadband Delivery

Mar 2024
Enterprise Network Infrastructure
Exterior view of the Henderson municipal power and light service center

It’s no secret that data is the new utility. From the classroom to the doctor’s office, and from the corner café to the farm field, the ability to access the internet, aggregate data, and connect to the cloud is critical. Governments, businesses, utilities, schools, hospitals, and consumers rely on broadband data to scale and improve their services, empower and strengthen communities, and connect with others.

The growing need for high-speed data is driving the adoption of fiber optics to deliver this service. Fiber optic cabling delivers long-distance transmission with a bandwidth that can support the varying needs of households, businesses, and industries using the same, scalable infrastructure.

Much of the critical infrastructure to support this “nerve system” of data transmission is housed in a typically nondescript building that goes by many names: central office, telecommunications building, head-end, network operations center. Regardless of the name, these buildings function as a mini data center, and are home to world-class fiber optic technology that directly impacts the performance of the network.

Building for Reliability

In Henderson, Kentucky, the local electric utility, Henderson Municipal Power & Light (HMP&L) has delivered electricity to the town’s residents since 1896. In 1999, HMP&L began providing broadband services to businesses in the city. Today, HMP&L has embarked on an upgrade that will ultimately provide symmetrical gigabit internet to all customers.  The first step in this broadband expansion project was in the central office.

The overriding objective for HMP&L throughout the project was reliability. The utility has been recognized for its reliability in delivering power and its goal with broadband is to meet those same reliability levels.

For HMP&L, world class reliability + best-in-class network infrastructure solutions = Panduit.

Panduit teamed with Graybar to deliver a diverse solution of products, ranging from fiber cabling solutions to racks and cable managers, and cable routing. The resulting Network Operations Center allows HMP&L to meet the reliability standards they set for themselves and allows the utility to close the digital divide.

Read the full HMP&L Case Study

Learn more about the Panduit broadband solution at

An interior view of the Henderson municipal power and light central office with panduit fiber optics, racks, and cable trays


Michael Vermeer

Mike Vermeer is Manager of Broadband at Panduit. He has a Mechanical Engineering degree from Purdue University and an MBA from DePaul University. In his 15 years at Panduit, he has taken various roles as inventor, product line manager, services manager, and acquisition lead.