Connect2First is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Electric Cooperative Corporation. Since 1937, First Electric has improved quality of life for Arkansans by providing electricity to homes, businesses and farms in central and southeastern Arkansas. At Connect2First, that mission is at the heart of everything we do. We are committed to improving quality of life by bringing high-speed internet and phone service to homes and businesses in your community.

Fiber internet sends data on pulses of light instead of pulses of electricity. This method of transmitting data is much faster and can go farther than cable and DSL connections. It is also immune to electromagnetic interference that other connections are susceptible to.

With Connect2First, 100% of our fiber cables are connected directly to the home. No matter where you live, homes and businesses will have direct access to the fastest internet available.

Phase 1. Backbone Construction & Permitting – This step involves building out the backbone to connect all of First Electric’s substations and offices across the five service territories. This phase could be compared to constructing interstates that connect states and major cities. Phase 1 must be completed to the substation (OLT) area in order for Phase 2 to begin.

Phase 2. Local Construction – Once permitting is approved, distribution fiber construction builds out fiber services to connect local neighborhoods and communities. This is similar to the way streets connect cities to each other.  

Phase 3. Splicing – Fiber splicing consists of permanently joining two fiber cables together for long-distance signal transmission and will begin once the fiber is placed in the local areas (Phase 2).  Phase 3 is tedious and requires an experienced fiber splicer technician to complete the work in order for light to travel across the network.

Phase 4. Testing – Quality testing takes place to ensure we deliver the fastest speeds and most reliable service available.

Phase 5. Installation – The installation process includes two steps:

  • Step one – a fiber cable will be installed to connect each home to the main fiber lines.
  • Step two – a technician will be on site to complete the installation inside each home or business.

Compare this step to building driveways that connect streets to homes. 

Three speeds are available to choose from – 200 Mbps, 500 Mbps, and 1 Gig.

Our plans include unlimited data usage, managed Wi-Fi, symmetrical speeds, unlimited local and long-distance calling, local call center support, and local technical support. Wi-Fi equipment is included and we never throttle (or intentionally slow down) service based on data usage.

Residential plans start at $59.99 per month and home phone service can be bundled starting at $25.00 per month. The standalone phone plan is $54.76.

Each business will be provided a customized quote based on their needs for connectivity.

In today’s world, a lack of connectivity negatively impacts education, commerce, community growth, healthcare and quality of life. We’re proud to launch Connect2First and bring some of the fastest internet speeds available. Our services will drive innovation and economic development to the communities that need it most.

Symmetrical speeds provide the same upload and download speeds. The data speed and file transfer rate are the same in both directions.  This feature allows customers to experience almost no lag when video conferencing, gaming, or uploading pictures or videos. 

Lifeline is a federal government program that subsidizes the cost of voice or broadband (internet) for qualifying low-income customers.  The subsidy is provided to Connect2First, which then applies a discount to the standard rate charged to its customers.  Low-income households are eligible for only one Lifeline benefit, which may be applied to either voice or internet service.  The 2022 monthly subsidy is $9.25/month for qualifying internet service, or $5.25 for qualifying voice service.  This benefit cannot be transferred to another person or household.  If you are interested in signing up for this program, more information is available here. 

How do I apply?

Visit www.lifelinesupport.org for more information. 

Pay your bill by logging into My Account at connect2first.net. All payments must be processed through your account page using an E-Check, Debit, or Credit Card, and any late payment will result in service disconnection and a $20 reconnection fee.

If a customer processes a check payment and is declined for insufficient funds, the customer will be charged a $25 returned check fee.

Customers have the option to pay a $350 installation fee and keep services on a month-to-month basis. Customers may also opt to sign a one-year contract with no installation fee. 

Connect2First offers an additional feature to remotely manage your Wi-Fi devices, usage, and parental controls using a Plume access point and the HomePass app. This additional feature can be added for $7.95 per month.

You can visit Speedtest.net to test your current internet connection speed. This will test the speed of the device you are conducting the test from to the test server. To get the best result, ensure your device is wired into the Plume Pod and other devices are not connected.

This could be due to one of the several reasons below.

  • Fiber internet connection can provide speeds faster than some devices are capable of handling. This is especially true if you have the 1 Gig package and are using older devices.
  • Wireless connections lose strength the further away from the Plume Pod they are. Wired connections are going to give you the best speed.
  • The package speed is divided amongst all the devices that are connected and pulling data; therefore, if you have multiple devices connected at the same time your speed test may show a slower speed than your total package speed. 

When you’re in the same room as your Plume Pod, your device is most likely connected via the 5 GHz channel which is much faster than the 2.4 GHz channel. However, the 5 GHz channel can’t go as far as the 2.4 GHz channel. Your device most likely swapped from the 5 GHz to the 2.4 GHz channel to improve the connection strength. This will keep you connected; however, you will have a slower speed.

Consult your device documentation and look for the following terms:

  • 1000BaseTx
  • 1000Mbps
  • 1 Gig

Yes, home phone service is available for only $25 more when bundled with internet service.  Standalone phone plans are also available for $52.64.