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Utilities / Electric Cooperatives

Bridge the digital divide for your members

Rural electric cooperatives can provide essential broadband services community-wide for co-op members to work, learn, and thrive in this digital age.

Electric co-ops are uniquely positioned to provide sustainable and equitable internet services, ensuring that everyone has access to affordable, high-quality broadband, regardless of their income or location.

Rural farm land with telephone lines


Electric co-ops face challenges bringing broadband access to rural areas


Trouble gaining clarity on various funding options at the state, federal, and private levels, and receiving guidance on making prudent investments.

Limited personnel

Maximizing the potential of a small electric co-op team without experienced outside guidance and support

Product offering

Struggling to discover specific solutions that perfectly align with your members' needs based on your serving area, population density, terrain, and competitive landscape

Essential Service

Rural broadband is as essential as electricity

Since 2005, the number of work-at-home employees has witnessed a staggering 103 percent growth. This means that more and more people rely on fast, reliable, and secure internet services to perform their jobs, communicate with their teams, and access their data. Service providers can capitalize on this opportunity and become the essential choice for this growing demographic.

Broadband is a vital tool for remote educators and students, as it enables them to connect with each other and access a variety of online learning resources. With broadband, students can easily complete their homework assignments on digital platforms, participate in interactive lessons, and explore new topics of interest.

Educators can also benefit from broadband, as they can design engaging and personalized curricula, communicate with their students and colleagues, and access professional development opportunities. Broadband for remote educators and students can enhance the quality and accessibility of education, regardless of their location.

Rural broadband is a vital service that enables many people to access quality health care from their homes. Electric cooperatives are often the only providers of reliable and affordable broadband in rural areas.

By delivering high-speed internet, electric cooperatives empower providers to monitor (especially with at-home devices), diagnose, and treat patients remotely. This reduces the need for costly and time-consuming travel, improves health outcomes, and enhances the quality of life for members.

Access to fiber-optic broadband is a valuable asset for homeowners and homebuyers alike. Fiber-optic broadband offers faster, more reliable, and more secure internet service than other types of connections. Homebuyers are willing to pay a premium for homes that have fiber-optic broadband, as it enhances their quality of life, work productivity, and entertainment options.

Technology is transforming the world in unprecedented ways, but not everyone in all locations has equal access to its benefits. Whether it is a small business that needs to streamline its operations, a farm that wants to increase its productivity and sustainability, or a school that aims to enhance its learning outcomes and opportunities, everyone can leverage the most advanced and innovative technologies available in the market today, and empower them to create a better future for themselves and their communities.

Case Studies

Customer successes

Pierce Pepin Cooperative provides world class broadband
View ride-a-long video
Tombigbee Fiber provides high-speed fiber optic internet and voice services
View ride-a-long video
Petit Jean Fiber is working to build 100% fiber-to-home network
View ride-a-long video

Featured perspectives and resources

Rural electric co-ops have partnered with Calix to bridge the digital divide

10.5 reasons rural electric cooperatives should break ground

Read how your rural electric cooperative can unlock the next broadband frontier. You can continue the work they started 85 years ago.

NRECA and electric cooperatives bridge the digital divide
Watch video
United Fiber launches bold campaign featuring managed services
Read press release
Tombigbee Fiber prioritizes protecting children from social media dangers
Read press release

Online curriculum

Broadband Academy

The journey to becoming a Broadband Service Provider can feel overwhelming. Broadband Academy's online curriculum guides your path to providing life-changing connectivity for your members. You don't need to be a Calix customer to enroll. ​


Broadband services fundamentals​

About this learning path:

Students will be introduced to the five stages of building a successful broadband business: fund, design, build, operate, market. Lessons cover everything from how broadband works and types of connectivity to important considerations in government and private funding. Students will learn about key factors in network design so they can confidently work with designers and engineers. Build and operate lessons include topics like outside plant construction, effectively monitoring the build phase, common operating challenges, and the importance of customer service. 

  • Broadband Services Fundamentals​

  • Funding for Broadband Services​

  • Design for Broadband Services ​

  • Build for Broadband Services ​

  • Operate for Broadband Services

Electric Cooperatives​

Understanding broadband specifics Electric Co-ops​

About this course​:

In this course, students will learn about specific considerations that electric cooperatives should be aware of when planning to build broadband infrastructure and operate a broadband business. This includes methods of owning and operating a broadband network, advantages and disadvantages of partnering with third-party entities, how broadband infrastructure can improve your electric operations, and tips for running a competitive business. After completing this course, students will be ready to begin working on broadband projects for electric cooperatives.​

  • Why Electric Co-ops are Uniquely Positioned to Provide Broadband Services​

  • Options for Owning and Operating a Broadband Network ​

  • How Broadband Infrastructure Can Help Improve Your Electric Operations​

  • Running a Competitive Broadband Business​

  • The Importance of Data Insights 

Don't build or manage your broadband business alone

Trending topics

Electric co-ops news and insights

Jul 10, 2024 | 3 min
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