CoBank Report: Electric Cooperatives Increasingly Bringing Broadband to Rural Communities

People living in rural communities are four times more likely to lack access to broadband than those in urban communities. Rural electric cooperatives, some of which were formed nearly 80 years ago to bring electricity to rural America, are increasingly making the move into broadband to fill the supply gap.

Many coops have found that building out a broadband network using their existing infrastructure, either on their own or through a partnership with established telecommunications providers, is an efficient way to help manage a modern, connected electrical grid as well as a productive way to serve rural customers with high-speed internet.

In response to this trend, CoBank has released a comprehensive 57-page report outlining the keys to success and lessons learned from six electric coops bringing broadband to their rural customers. The report also includes insights from industry experts which will likely prove helpful to other coops considering the move.

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