Join Chris Mitchell in this half hour podcast with Susan Cashion, Vice President, Chief Compliance & Administrative officer from Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation, and Greg Coltrain, Vice President of Business Development for Riverstreets Network (the private sector arm of Wilkes Telephone Cooperative) as they explain how cooperative are quietly deploying fiber broadband services to North Carolina’s unserved rural areas. Member-owned cooperatives were created more than 80 years ago when investor-owned power companies bypassed these rural areas after assuming they were unprofitable. Susan and Greg talk about how that same dynamic is stimulating cooperatives to now leverage their electricity and telephone assets to provide critical internet service to these same communities. “We are owned by our members and we listen to our members,” noted Ms. Cashion as she described their key for success, and how they are partnering now with Riverstreet. Greg takes that story further, describing the partnerships Riverstreet has, and wants, with local communities to bring them fiber broadband services by utilizing their public assets like rooftops, water towers, and even dark fiber. “We want everyone in North Carolina to have high quality internet when we’re done.”