Banding Together

Oklahoma co-ops come together to form the Cooperative Broadband Coalition

The Cooperative Broadband Coalition (CBC) is a statewide organization dedicated to advancing the mission of expanding rural broadband across Oklahoma. This group works to provide fast, reliable internet service to all Oklahomans by bringing fiber subsidiaries together to combat the unique challenge of staying connected in the twenty-first century. 

Electric cooperatives have been powering the homes of rural Oklahoma since President Franklin Roosevelt enacted the Rural Electrification Act in 1936. Each of these electric cooperatives provides essential services to people in their area, but they have not always had enough influence on their own to overcome every obstacle set before them. That is where the Oklahoma Association of Electric Cooperatives (OAEC) steps in. This statewide organization helps co-ops pool their resources and band together to ensure we all have the necessary resources to provide our collective members with top-tier service.

One of the most recent examples is House Bill 3835. You may remember receiving emails asking you to contact your representatives. Because of the widespread effects of the bill, OAEC provided valuable resources for all co-ops to encourage the members they serve to help defeat this bill.

In a similar fashion, 10 electric distribution cooperatives with fiber subsidiaries, like OEC and OEC Fiber, banded together to create the CBC, an affiliate of OAEC. Together, they provide service to 46 counties in Oklahoma and Arkansas, with over 78,000 subscribers and more than 16,000 miles of fiber line.

While these groups differ in size, their missions are the same. The CBC exists to ensure everyone can access the reliable high-speed broadband service they need. Each subsidiary sees this as an extension of the cooperatives’ directive to bring much-needed service to underserved areas. The core principle of Concern for Community is the driving force behind what these subsidiaries do.

Coming together to form the CBC demonstrates another cooperative principle, Collaboration Among Cooperatives. By forming the CBC and meeting with several legislative groups, they have ensured the construction of a network that will provide exceptional service for years to come.

OAEC and CBC help ensure OEC and OEC Fiber have the resources to provide our members and subscribers with the services they need. These statewide organizations are integral to what sets us apart from other service providers. They ensure our voices are heard and we are given a seat at the table. They prove that, like the cooperatives that came before, we can accomplish far more together than we ever could apart.

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