Creating a nonprofit or tapping into an existing one has enabled dozens of communities to launch successful broadband networks and digital inclusion programs. Cleveland, OH's OneCommunity nonprofit organization just announced a for-profit arm that's bringing 100 gigs to businesses in 24 counties in northeast Ohio, and subsequently raising services and benefits to a whole new level.
Financial sustainability of efforts to close the digital divide as well as deliver broadband services is often a challenge, particularly when serving low-income and sparsely populated communities. OneCommunity's for-profit, Everstream, promises sizeable revenue streams by serving pent up demand from businesses. Communities everywhere should closely evaluate this strategy to determine if a similar approach can benefit their constituents.
Brett Lindsey, President of Everstream and COO of OneCommunity, explains how their strategy evolved, what benefits it brings to the nonprofit and subscribers, and what steps stakeholders should take to determine if this strategy is appropriate for their particular needs. The Everstream story is highly relevant because urban communities' broadband needs are overlooked in national policymaking because some assume metropolitan areas have plenty of access to superfast Internet access.
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