​Broadband Stretches the Traditional Investment Envelope: The need for due diligence of high-speed broadband telecommunication investments by electric cooperatives is important. Major technology upgrades such as an expansion of broadband coverage come with significant, and sometimes unprecedented, challenges and costs. The business cases and cost recovery mechanisms are different for so-called “last-mile” deployments in which a cooperative extends broadband communications to homes and businesses in the community compared to operationally driven broadband expansion for internal communication purposes. The purpose of this executive white paper is to provide CEOs and other decision makers at electric cooperatives who are considering significant broadband deployments with a high-level, due diligence framework.

NRECA, NRTC, CoBank and NRUCFC developed this guide to help electric cooperatives vet investment proposals by posing key questions that need to be asked when plans to expand broadband telecommunications and to offer broadband-enabled services are put on the table. This executive brief is the first step toward a structured, decision-making template for evaluating broadband investments, as well as the operational and administrative burdens associated with offering telecommunication services. FULL GUIDE