Critical Lessons Learned in Building Successful Broadband Partnerships
Executive interviews conducted by CoBank provide insights on how these uncommon partnerships, when done right, can provide long-term benefits for all involved
DENVER (August 01, 2019) — Broadband partnerships between rural local exchange carriers and electric distribution cooperatives are few and far between, but when they do occur, and they leverage the respective capabilities of both entities, those pairings can provide highly beneficial broadband services to their communities.
According to a new report from CoBank’s Knowledge Exchange division, rural carriers face significant headwinds as consumers disconnect their landline phones in favor of Voice over Internet Protocol or wireless. Increasingly, to realize economies of scale and diversify their revenue, rural carriers are aggressively investing their federal subsidies in fiber and are partnering with electric co-ops to build fiber networks outside of their territory.
Like rural carriers, electric co-ops that deploy broadband are realizing many benefits, such as powering economic growth in the communities they serve. Importantly, too, broadband deployment helps electric co-ops gain additional revenue and increase system reliability and customer satisfaction. They have also discovered that broadband can greatly enable proven features such as advanced metering infrastructure, outage notification systems and demand response programs.
To learn what has worked among joint broadband partnerships, CoBank recently interviewed several executives at rural local exchange carriers and electric distribution cooperatives that have undertaken such deployments. Tom Binet, senior economist said that despite the diverse forms of these partnerships, the executives interviewed had learned remarkably similar lessons.
“When the respective capabilities of RLECs and EDs are fully appreciated, they can be leveraged to provide highly beneficial broadband services to their communities,” Binet said. “Initiating these enterprises can be as simple as reaching out to one another and taking some time to establish a sense of common objectives, trust and roles. Throughout this process, the well-being and satisfaction of customers should be paramount.”
CoBank summarizes its report findings by listing five “lessons learned” from interviews with U.S. executives who have undertaken broadband partnerships.
A video summary and the full report, Recent Insights into Successful Broadband Partnerships, are available on cobank.com.
CoBank is a $138 billion cooperative bank serving vital industries across rural America. The bank provides loans, leases, export financing and other financial services to agribusinesses and rural power, water and communications providers in all 50 states. The bank also provides wholesale loans and other financial services to affiliated Farm Credit associations serving more than 70,000 farmers, ranchers and other rural borrowers in 23 states around the country.
CoBank is a member of the Farm Credit System, a nationwide network of banks and retail lending associations chartered to support the borrowing needs of U.S. agriculture, rural infrastructure and rural communities. Headquartered outside Denver, Colorado, CoBank serves customers from regional banking centers across the U.S. and also maintains an international representative office in Singapore.
Certain of the statements contained in this news release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Our actual future business may differ materially and adversely from our expectations expressed in any forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are typically identified by words such as “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “target,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “could,” or similar expressions. Although we believe that the information expressed or implied in such forward-looking statements is reasonable, we can give no assurance that such projections and expectations will be realized or the extent to which a particular plan, projection or expectation may be realized. These forward-looking statements are based on current knowledge and subject to risks and uncertainties. We encourage you to read our Annual Report and Quarterly Reports located on the bank’s website at www.cobank.com. We undertake no obligation to revise or publicly update our forward-looking statements for any reason.
CoBank Renews “No Barriers Warriors” Program Sponsorship for Rural Veterans With Disabilities In 2020
January 13, 2020CoBank partners with the Colorado-based No Barriers organization, to support the nonprofit’s Warriors program.
Conflicting Trends in Agricultural Irrigation Set to Drive Demand for Energy
New research by CoBank provides insights into the evolving drivers of electricity consumption for agricultural irrigationThe sale of electricity used to power agricultural irrigation equipment is a significant source of revenue today for many electric cooperatives and other utilities serving the rural U.S.
CoBank Board Approves Special All-Cash Patronage Distribution
Approximately $40 Million In Additional Patronage Will Be Paid To Eligible Customer-Owners In March 2020