BroadbandUSA Newsletter November 2017

Wed, November 01, 2017

Vol 2 | Issue 11 | November 2017

Download PDF version here.

Electric Cooperatives Are Powering Rural Broadband Expansion

Nearly two generations ago, electric cooperatives played an important role in closing the rural electricity gap. Today, electric co-ops are on a similar mission to deploy broadband to help close the digital divide. Why are electric co-ops well positioned to expand broadband?

  • Electric co-ops have an extensive history serving rural communities. With over 80 years of experience, electric co-ops have a deep understanding of the population and geographic challenges associated with providing service in remote places.

  • Electric co-ops can leverage their existing infrastructure. Electric co-ops can use their existing distribution networks, infrastructure assets and rights-of-way to more efficiently and economically deploy broadband services.

  • Electric co-ops understand local broadband needs. Co-ops exist to serve their members, most of whom are community residents and businesses, and their members know firsthand the gaps in coverage.

  • Electric co-ops have strong community ties. Electric co-ops can spur deeper conversations with their members about the value of broadband and pave the way for increased adoption and use.

  • Electric co-ops need broadband too. Broadband allows electric co-ops to make “smart grid” updates, integrating advanced technologies that increase efficiency and reliability, more effectively use resources and better serve members.

Interested in learning more about electric cooperatives and their role in broadband expansion? Attend BroadbandUSA’s Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar on electric cooperatives Wednesday, November 15 or contact us at or 202-482-2048.

Broadband News and Updates Federal News

State News

Funding Opportunities

Public Safety/FirstNet

Stakeholder Resources

Other News

New Broadband Resources

  • CoBank’s Electric Distribution/Broadband Team recently released Making the Move into Broadband: Rural Electric Co-ops Detail Their Experience, a collection of interviews with industry experts and rural electric cooperatives that are expanding broadband infrastructure. The interviews discuss key challenges and best practices and serve as a guide for electric co-ops considering the move into broadband.

  • The Charlotte Digital Inclusion Alliance recently released its Digital Inclusion Playbook, a report addressing digital inequity in Charlotte and recommending strategies to close the digital divide. Many of these strategies can be used by different communities across the country. Click here to learn more.

  • ICMA’s Research and Policy Team released a new research report on cybersecurity. The report, Cybersecurity: Protecting Local Government Digital Resources, is now available free online for downloading here.

BroadbandUSA Spotlight

  • BroadbandUSA published Technical Assistance Overview: Broadband Infrastructure Efforts to inform stakeholders of the program’s technical assistance offerings related to infrastructure projects. The factsheet outlines BroadbandUSA’s technical assistance process, examples of Technical Assistance support and additional resources available to communities and organizations that are interested in expanding broadband infrastructure. Click here to learn more.

  • BroadbandUSA coordinated the Stronger Economies Together (SET) webinars series. These webinars were tailored for USDA Rural Development and University Extension training and technical assistance providers under the SET program. Trainers’ instruction materials (including handouts) are available online at the following link under “Supplemental Modules, Broadband.”


BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations Webinar Series

Topic: Practical Broadband Conversations: Electric Co-ops Bringing Fiber to Rural America

Date: Wednesday, November 15 from 2:00-3:00 p.m. EDT

Overview: Electric cooperatives are capitalizing on existing infrastructure and deep community roots to bring gigabit communications to rural communities, and the results can be transformational. Just as rural electrification energized the country in the early 20th century, high capacity broadband connections are necessary for thriving communities in the 21st century. Join BroadbandUSA’s Practical Broadband Conversations webinar to learn how member-based co-ops are making the case for investment and creating new opportunities for economic prosperity. Click here to register.

Brian Kilbourne, Policy Vice President and General Counsel, Utilities Technology Council
Randy Klindt, Founder, Conexon; General Manager, OzarksGo
Paul Belk, President, North Georgia Network


NTIA Events

November 15, 2017
BroadbandUSA Practical Broadband Conversations: Electric Co-Ops Bringing Fiber to Rural America

BroadbandUSA will host the next webinar in its series. Click here to learn more.

Events of Interest

November 6, 2017 Nevada Governor’s Office of Science, Innovation and Technology Broadband Summit
The Broadband Summit will be held in Carson City, NV. BroadbandUSA’s Doug Kinkoph will deliver a keynote speech. Click here to learn more.

November 7-9, 2017
Broadband Communities Economic Development Conference

Broadband Communities’ Economic Development Conference will be held in Atlanta, GA. Click here to learn more.

November 7-9, 2017
National League of Cities (NLC) City Summit

NLC’s City Summit will be held in Charlotte, NC. BroadbandUSA is exhibiting and speaking at the ITC Committee meeting. Click here to learn more.

Contact Us

If you are interested in receiving technical assistance, email or call 202-482-2048. For more information, visit our website at