NRECA Broadband Launches to Boost Telecom Advocacy and Resources

NRECA Broadband will offer participating co-ops strategic communications, events and focused business and technology support in addition to targeted advocacy. (Photo Courtesy: Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative)

NRECA has launched a new level of service for electric cooperatives that provide broadband or are considering offering it.

NRECA Broadband, which opened July 12 to NRECA voting members, offers a growing number of exclusive resources, including additional legislative and regulatory experts to represent participating co-ops’ interests in Washington, D.C.

“Co-ops entering the competitive broadband business face a whole new set of regulations, reporting requirements, tax implications and other issues specific to the telecommunications space,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.

Sequachee Valley Electric Cooperative’s Mike Partin discusses NRECA Broadband.

“Through this new service tier, we aim to be a strong, united voice in Washington to represent our unique interests and stand toe-to-toe with big telecom.”

Co-ops that participate in NRECA Broadband will gain access to new strategic communications services, education and events, and focused business and technology support in addition to targeted advocacy. The first NRECA Broadband Leadership Summit for tier participants will take place Nov. 17-18 in Washington, D.C.

“This new level of service will amplify our voice as a national organization in Washington, where telecommunication issues are discussed and where telecommunication business policies are decided,” NRECA Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Connor said.

“This is about building partnerships that NRECA can develop to be a more powerful voice for our members’ interests,” he said.

Participation in NRECA Broadband is voluntary and open to any NRECA voting electric co-op. The annual fee for co-ops that are in the broadband business is $12,000 plus $1 per broadband customer. The annual fee for co-ops not yet delivering broadband is $6,000.

Matheson said the time was right to expand NRECA’s service in broadband as hundreds of member co-ops work to bridge America’s digital divide.

“NRECA’s mission is to be an advocate for quality of life in the rural and diverse communities our members serve and has been for 80 years,” Matheson said. “NRECA Broadband services are a natural extension of our advocacy. We are committed to serve electric cooperatives for broadband as we do for the electric side of their business.”

Cathy Cash is a staff writer for NRECA.

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