About 22.3% of rural Americans do not have access to fixed high-speed broadband and are marooned by the digital divide. To help close this gap, the U.S. is prioritizing rural broadband, enabled by fiber, to connect rural citizens and foster much-needed innovation across rural services, businesses, and industries such as healthcare, education, and agriculture. Rural electric cooperatives (co-ops) may be the linchpin of closing the digital divide because they can deploy fiber successfully despite a very challenging business model.
This eBook discusses the rural digital divide, how broadband transforms rural communities, and why co-ops are ideal leaders of fiber deployment. Finally, as experts in advanced communications infrastructure, Black & Veatch outlines eight actions that co-ops can take to remove hurdles, accelerate schedules, garner public interest and acceptance, and minimize costs of fiber deployment.