Date: November 28th, 2017
New Map Shows Stunning Fiber Internet Access from Rural Cooperatives
ILSR researchers chart how cooperatives connect rural America while big telephone companies abandon them
MINNEAPOLIS, MINN. -- Despite dismal rural connectivity in general, a small number of rural towns and farming communities have better Internet access than is available in most metro regions. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance has mapped the fiber-optic footprint and gigabit connectivity of all cooperatives in rural America in a new policy brief.
The rural cooperative fiber map is attached below. Many will be surprised at the remarkable footprint of residential fiber-optic access across wide swaths of rural America. ILSR’s experts are available to discuss the implications of cooperatives on rural broadband Internet expansion.
“Once again, rural cooperatives have built essential infrastructure in regions otherwise abandoned by the biggest telephone companies,” says Christopher Mitchell, director of the Community Broadband Networks initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. “Despite the biggest federal subsidies going to the biggest companies, the local cooperatives have built far better networks.”
Here are some helpful bullets about the policy brief:
Most of the 260 telephone cooperatives and at least 60 electric cooperatives have built out fiber infrastructure to serve businesses and/or residents
Some of these cooperatives have 80 years of experience rolling out rural infrastructure and ensuring it remains viable and affordable.
The majority of North Dakota already has Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) and the poorest county in the country (Jackson County, Kentucky) has FTTH. We can do this anywhere.
Solving rural Internet access is not only achievable and affordable, we are far closer to doing it than most people realize.
If you're interested in gaining perspective on this issue from Christopher Mitchell, please email back here or schedule an interview through Nick Stumo-Langer at 612-844-1330.
About Christopher Mitchell: