60 minutes | Apr 21st 2016

A Co-op. Just for Broadband? Of course!

People say, “broadband is just like electricity in the 1920s. That’s why electric co-ops were formed, and why they need to build community broadband.” But why not build a co-op specifically for broadband? In Minnesota several communities recently started a broadband co-op. Are more on the way? Chris Mitchell, Director of Community Broadband Networks at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR), makes the case that more rural communities need to create broadband co-ops to address the lack of sufficient highspeed Internet access. ILSR and Next Century Cities just released a report that examines Minnesota’s broadband co-op, “RS Fiber: Fertile Fields for New Rural Internet Cooperative.” Mitchell delves into why: The co-op model makes sense for communities;Hybrid wired and wireless infrastructure makes financial sense;Broadband co-ops blends the best of public and private worlds;We should expect more broadband co-op to form.
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