- Nine distribution electric cooperatives have formed fiber subsidiaries that are actively bringing rural broadband access to parts of Oklahoma
- Co-ops with fiber subsidiaries have formed the Cooperative Broadband Coalition (CBC) to advance the mission of rural broadband access
- CBC is an affiliated organization of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives
Cooperative Broadband Coalition paves the way to broadband access in parts of rural Oklahoma
In the 1930s and 1940s, quality of life in rural Oklahoma and rural America blossomed with first-time access to electricity. Rural electric cooperatives energized sparsely populated communities bringing vitality and prosperity.
Today’s generations in rural America meet a different challenge: they need reliable access to broadband to foster that same vitality and prosperity in the communities they call home. Rising to the challenge are several rural electric cooperatives, when conditions are feasible.
Nine distribution electric cooperatives that are members of the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) have formed fiber subsidiaries to provide broadband access in their service areas. These cooperatives have banded together to form the Cooperative Broadband Coalition (CBC) to advance the mission of rural broadband and to collectively represent the interests of those they serve.
The CBC is an independent organization that is affiliated with the statewide association, OAEC, which is voluntarily supported by 30 member-systems: 27 distribution electric cooperatives and three generation and transmission electric cooperatives.
The electric cooperative business model is based on member ownership and the delivery of a service that benefits all members. While conditions are unique for every electric cooperative, the co-ops that have been able to form a fiber subsidiary were able to do so based on accessibility of grants and other favorable economic conditions.
“Electric cooperatives exist to serve their member-owners,” said Chris Meyers, OAEC general manager. “We commend the cooperatives that have been able to expand their service to provide rural broadband to the communities they serve. This essential service brings a significant positive impact to rural areas.”
The Cooperative Broadband Coalition is currently comprised of these members:
- Arkansas Valley Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: Wave Rural Connect
- Canadian Valley Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: CVEC Fiber
- Central Rural Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: Centranet
- Cookson Hills Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: Cookson Hills Connect
- East Central Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: EcoLink
- Lake Region Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: Lake Region Technology & Communications
- Northeast Oklahoma Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: Bolt Fiber
- Oklahoma Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: OEC Fiber
- Ozarks Electric Cooperative
- Fiber subsidiary: OzarksGo
Anna Politano, Director of Public Relations & Communications