With only about 757,000 residents and more than 710,000 square miles North Dakota is ranked 53rd in population density among U.S. states, territories, and Washington DC. There may not be many people there, but North Dakota has some of the best connectivity in the United States. Why? Rural cooperatives and independent companies have made continued investments.In episode 288, Christopher interviews Robin Anderson, Sales Manager for National Information Solutions Cooperative. Robin’s been working in the industry for years and has been involved in bringing better Internet access to rural areas in North Dakota. She has firsthand experience with the issues that arise during deployments and describes the camaraderie that grew naturally out of necessity when small, independent providers worked to achieve their goals to improve connectivity for cooperative members and rural subscribers.Robin also touches on how federal loan funding helped so many of the cooperatives get started with fiber and how they took the next steps to self-fund as the demand grew. Christopher and Robin talk about the economics of fiber optic networks for cooperatives and the reasoning behind fiber investment in rural areas. They discuss some specific examples of the way collaboration in North Dakota has resulted in better networks.Read the transcript for this show here.This show is 28 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or the tool of your choice using this feed.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Arne Huseby for the music. The song is Warm Duck Shuffle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
The most rural area of Missouri is getting a Fiber-to-the-Home network from the United Electric Cooperative, which has created United Fiber and is expanding across its footprint and to adjacent areas that want better Internet access. Chief Development Officer Darren Farnan joins us to explain why his co-op has taken these steps.We discuss how they are rolling it out – focusing on areas that need the service while respecting the telephone cooperatives that are within their electric footprint. The project has benefited from a broadband stimulus award and also incorporates fixed wireless technology in some areas.We discuss some of the economics behind the project and are sure to clarify that though the utility has needed some capital subisides to build the network, it does not need any operating subsidies to continue – it runs under its own revenue. And we talk about the demand for better, faster connections – it is much higher than most realize.Read the transcript of the show here.We want your feedback and suggestions for the show-please e-mail us or leave a comment below.This show is 30 minutes long and can be played on this page or via iTunes or via the tool of your choice using this feed.You can download this mp3 file directly from here. Listen to other episodes here or view all episodes in our index.Thanks to Admiral Bob for the music. The song is Turbo Tornado (c) copyright 2016 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license. Ft: Blue Wave Theory.