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More than 6 million households in electric co-op service areas don’t have access to high-speed internet service, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Media Inquiries:

Where we stand

Progress has been made recently to expand access, but more policy support and continued financial investment is required to close the digital divide. Electric co-ops are working with policymakers to improve broadband data collection to reveal existing gaps in coverage and to target federal resources at unserved and underserved communities to achieve universal broadband access.

Impact on

Cooperatives and Businesses

Broadband is a key part of modern co-op operations. It can improve grid reliability and efficiency and help pinpoint outages and speed the restoration of service.


A 2018 NRECA study showed that the 6.3 million households in co-op service areas that don’t have broadband would receive an annual average of nearly $2,000 each in economic benefits—more than $12 billion total—if they had access. Benefits include improved health care, online learning opportunities, increased productivity for local businesses, higher housing values, and consumer savings through access to more products from competitive online sellers.
Featured Video

Co-op Broadband Enhances Education and Local Economy in Rural Virginia

Rural Americans Lack Broadband Access

This map, based on Federal Communications Commission data in 2018, illustrates the vast portion of electric co-op service territory lacking broadband access.

NCS-3072_Broadband Map for Underserved Co-ops_Web

Read More About Electric Co-ops and Broadband:

Morning Consult: New Broadband Funding Will Spark an Economic Flame Across Rural America
“As co-ops and their communities face the future together, federal and state partners have a supportive role in the fight to close the digital divide. That has not always been the case, but the tide is shifting,” NRECA CEO Jim Matheson writes in an op-ed.

Texas Public Radio: ‘You’re Doing This to Allow Your Communities to Survive’
Learn about the role Texas electric co-ops are playing in rural broadband efforts.

The Daily Journal (Tupelo, Miss.): Electric Co-ops Look Into Funding Opportunities to Provide Internet Service
Mississippi electric co-ops now have the opportunity to provide broadband service.

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