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Catalyzing worker co-ops & the solidarity economy

Co-ops: By the Community, For the Community

Tina Borg knows all too well the challenges of limited internet access.

At home, her family in Barnes County, N.D., often relied on a cell phone hotspot. However, their ability to access information was frequently constrained by their phone plan’s data limits. Tina routinely had to drive to the next town to access the internet, or she had to rely upon whatever books happened to be available for the four children that she home schools.

This travel took a toll on her family, and Tina worried that her autistic son was not getting the quality of the education he needs. Fortunately, these challenges have since come to an end.

Tina now has high-speed broadband access at home, thanks to two USDA Community Connect grants awarded to the BEK Communications Cooperative, the local telecommunications provider. The grants helped fund the construction of 462.6 miles of fiber throughout Barnes County, including to Tina’s home.

Cooperatives such as BEK play critically important roles in rural areas. They do more than provide employment and services. They are integral parts of the community.

Read the rest at USDA blog

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