Great broadband is a critical piece of infrastructure in every community, and the benefits of world-class connectivity touch on almost all aspects of life from the economy to healthcare, education to housing. In collaboration with our sister organization, the Center On Rural Institution (CORI), we are committed to making sure rural America has equitable broadband access that will enable their participation in a 21st century digital economy.
We help communities understand whether a fiber network is feasible, and if so, work with them to establish an engineering design, business plan and operational structure, and devise a grant strategy that will set them up for success.
Align + Understand
To begin, we focus on understanding the unique goals and needs of a community. In addition to thinking about what a community needs presently, we also consider what will be needed in the future. We identify the key stakeholders, existing Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and local and state leaders who will need to be included in the process.
Analyze + Plan
Once we’ve collected data and information to help us understand feasibility, we work to build out the full project cost. Our reports include engineering costs, expected take-rates (subscription rates), expected revenue per user, construction cost estimates, and other financial pieces to help us understand the capital expenses needed to make the project work. These estimates will help us identify and select the most appropriate operational structures and partners.
Fundraise + Facilitate
There is substantial federal money available in the form of grants and low-interest loans. We create grant strategies based on subsidy needs and expected operator partner. These strategies can also include private philanthropy, subordinated debt, municipal or revenue bonds, and other sources when applicable. Once an operator partner is established, we work closely to help you vet vendors and understand legal obligations and compliance from receiving grants and loans. We are a collaborative resource as you navigate the process.
Better connectivity can usher in a new wave of rural prosperity and innovation. While we recognize every community comes to the table with different challenges, we are equipped to support local change agents looking to revitalize rural America and bring broadband to the small towns and communities they call home.