- REC has for years been an advocate for bringing broadband service to our members and the communities we serve in rural areas. We understand this is very important to the well-being of rural communities, impacting everything from education to medical care to economic development. REC also needs high speed internet service to be available everywhere so we can use the latest technology to run our business.
- Internet technology is constantly changing and numerous companies large and small are actively and aggressively looking for ways to deliver universal, affordable broadband service to all geographic regions of our country, including rural areas. The circumstances are very different than they were when electric cooperatives were formed over 75 years ago to bring electric service to the rural areas.
REC is a regulated electric utility. The Virginia State Corporation Commission oversees the electric-related services we can provide and the costs we can recover through the rates they approve. In order to offer internet service, REC would have to set up a subsidiary where the liability, risks and costs were shielded from the electric co-op's members and their rates. At the present time, it is not economically feasible for REC to do that.
- REC does want to be part of the solution to bring broadband service to our members. We are advocates for public/private partnerships and continue to be involved in numerous discussions with federal, state and local government officials about ways to bring broadband to the communities we serve who desperately want to provide better internet access for their citizens. REC has many aerial assets including poles and towers that we believe could be used as part of a broadband network deployment solution.