Cooperatives Offering Broadband to Rural America 

A recent publication to the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society explains how cooperatives are “the unsung heroes of broadband.”  The following post explains the substance of the publication: 

Obtaining broadband access has become a necessity, especially now during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Access to broadband for students across the nation, and for those wanting to receive Telehealth services has become essential. 

The presence of broadband in a community may lower unemployment, raise local GDP, and attract new business. Broadband, especially fiber, can increase home values. 

Cooperatives, both telephone and electric, have been connecting rural America for almost a hundred years, and currently they face challenges to provide broadband to rural America. Cooperatives must decide whether to offer retail fiber broadband service; the investment and infrastructure is costly, prolonged, and resource intensiveThe second area of concern for cooperatives is customer service, and not being equipped to handle the service needs of telecommunication customers. However, many cooperatives find that the rewards and community investment outweigh the risks. 

Cooperatives are the unsung heroes of rural broadband because they are laying down the fiber necessary to meet the needs and demands of a digital rural America. The future of rural broadband is through cooperative organizations and their members 

To access the publication directly, visit https://www.benton.org/blog/cooperatives-unsung-heroes-broadband  

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