ARLINGTON, Va. – National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) CEO Jim Matheson today issued the following statement on the confirmation of Anna Gomez to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“We look forward to working with Commissioner Gomez to advance the needs of rural communities,” said Matheson. “Commissioner Gomez has extensive experience both in the public and the private sectors, and will bring a well-rounded perspective to the Commission and efforts to close the digital divide. We look forward to collaborating with her to ensure that all Americans have access to high-speed broadband at a reasonable price, regardless of their zip code.”
More than 200 electric cooperatives are working to bring broadband to their rural communities through efforts that frequently mirror the push for rural electrification nearly 100 years ago. The cost of building and maintaining networks in sparsely populated areas with difficult terrain has been prohibitive for many for-profit providers. The FCC is an important partner in helping electric co-ops bridge the digital divide.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association is the national trade association representing nearly 900 local electric cooperatives. From growing suburbs to remote farming communities, electric co-ops serve as engines of economic development for 42 million Americans across 56 percent of the nation’s landscape. As local businesses built by the consumers they serve, electric cooperatives have meaningful ties to rural America and invest $12 billion annually in their communities.