Eversheds Sutherland Coop Law Blog
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Coops Pledge to Sustain Broadband Service as Pandemic Hardships Increase

Several electric cooperatives that provide broadband internet are taking steps to keep rural communities connected during the coronavirus pandemic, including measures that go far beyond a Federal Communications Commission call to sustain service for low-income customers. Those steps include delivering higher connection speeds, even for members who subscribe to more modest plans.

Congress Passes Legislation to Improve Broadband Mapping

The Broadband Deployment and Technological Availability Act passed Congress and is expected to be signed by President Trump. The bill requires the Federal Communications Commission to collect more detailed data from broadband providers. The bill will allow coops better information about broadband service in rural communities, addressing a common understanding that current data is...

FCC Chairman Looks at Michigan’s Rural Broadband

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai visited Michigan to get a firsthand look at Midwest Energy & Communications’ (MEC) broadband initiative. Pai’s trip preceded the vote on the rules for the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), a $20.4 billion reverse auction aimed at bringing high-speed internet to the country’s unserved communities. Pai heralded MEC’s...

Virginia Coop Gets Broadband Expansion Funds

The Prince George Electric Cooperative has received funds from the Federal Communications Commission to expand broadband service to more than 5,200 rural locations in the Virginia counties of Prince George, Sussex, Surry, Isle of Wight and Dinwiddie.

Coop Leader Testifies Regarding Inaccurate FCC Broadband Data

Dan Stelpflug, Director of Operations, Engineering and Technology for Allamakee Clayton Electric Cooperative (Allamakee Clayton) in Postville, Iowa, recently testified to Congress regarding faulty Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broadband data provided in connection with a federal grant awarded to the coop. Specifically, the FCC awarded Allamakee Clayton a $1.4 million...

FCC Commits Nearly $37M in Funding for Broadband in Virginia

Central Virginia Services, a subsidiary of Central Virginia Electric Cooperative, is one of the five companies to receive approximately $37 million in funding from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for broadband in Virginia.

FCC Appoints NRECA’s Matheson to Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman, Ajit Pai, recently appointed National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO, Jim Matheson, to serve on a Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee. The committee will identify new ways to encourage the expansion of broadband to rural communities, as well as aim to improve disaster response and recovery capabilities in the...

NRECA Urges FCC to Advance $20 Billion for Broadband

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA), along with America’s Communications Association and NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, are asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to advance a new $20 billion auction for building rural broadband. Dubbed the Rural Digital Opportunities Fund, this new auction is expected to offer up to $20.4 billion to build...

FCC to Allow Auction Entry for Coops

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has ruled that coops can have access to Connect American Funds (CAF), which are meant to promote broadband in rural areas.  The FCC agreed, at the NRECA’s suggestion, that coops may satisfy the auction program’s technical qualifications by providing evidence of their capabilities to operate transmission or distribution systems.  The FCC...

Cooperative Finance Corp. Fights for Authorization to Issue Letters of Credit

The National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC) continues to seek an exemption under the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Broadband Experiment allowing it to issue letters of credit to its own members and those of an affiliate, Rural Telephone Finance Cooperative.  However, because CFC is not a depository institution, it cannot receive the required FDIC...

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