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What if you don’t need a gig??

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“We might push a gig, but we have plans to heavily promote 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps services,” states Bob Hance, President and CEO of Midwest Energy Cooperative. He has learned that communities’ diverse needs benefit from flexible approaches to technology.

Despite the hype and political pressure to deliver a gig everywhere, co-ops have to be realistic with the technology they invest in because members expect the their management teams to spend customers’ money wisely. Co-ops are finding that flexibility is the watchword when determining broadband tech strategy.

Several members of Midwest’s management team met with Gigabit Nation to talk about the team’s various perspectives on the broadband lessons they have learned.

  • For now, being just being connected to faster broadband is members’ biggest reward;
  • As the co-op upgrades to smart grid, businesses and residents are learning they need online energy management capabilities;
  • Some municipalities are hesitant to get onboard with broadband and will wait for co-ops to take the lead; and
  • Co-ops give communities a path around Michigan’s muni broadband restrictions.

Craig Settles new book, Building the Gigabit City, Vol. 2, focuses attention to the role of co-ops in the broadband movement. Midwest is interveiwed in the book.

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