Co-op and municipal utilities
Rural electric cooperatives (RECs) and municipal utilities are uniquely suited to bring the benefits of fiber optic broadband to their communities.
Existing network assets
Among their key assets are their existing networks of poles and rights of way (ROW). As many telecom startups have found, relying on poles and ROW owned by other entities (who in some cases are your competitors) can increase costs and delays, and even kill otherwise promising projects.
"Open access" and customer choice
Pulse Broadband's open access model is "a perfect fit" for rural electric co-ops, since "it relieves [them] of having to learn multiple new businesses", according to Dan
Strode, CEO of Ralls County Electric Co-op (RCEC).
A fiber network's unlimited capacity allows multiple service providers to compete for customers. And today's customers want choice in their voice, video and Internet services.
Pulse's open access technology and services also help a network project attract stimulus funding.
A community focus
Co-op and municipal utilities have close ties to local businesses and households, in part reflecting their community-based ownership structure. Thus, their motivation extends beyond a project's financial rate of return. They also want to maximize such community benefits as economic growth, lower energy costs, improved education and healthcare, and overall quality of life.
We call the combination of internal payback and economic and social benefits the "Community Return on Investment" (ROI) of a broadband network.
Maximizing Community ROI
Our partner Strategic Networks Group (SNG) is a worldwide leader in the research and planning to maximize Community ROI. SNG research has shown that broadband investments can increase GDP up to 10 times network costs.
SNG services add only about 1% to the cost of fiber deployment. Thus, with even a tiny percentage gain in the GDP increase, SNG services pay for themselves.
With support from Rural Fiber Works and our partners, RECs today have a unique opportunity to revitalize their communities with the power of fiber optics.
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