In 2017, the West Virginia Legislature passed House Bill 3093 – the “Broadband Co-op Bill.” It encourages individuals and businesses to form cooperative associations, or “Broadband Co-ops,” to obtain high-speed internet services at a reasonable price.
Through the Broadband Co-op model, 20 or more individuals or businesses can pool their resources and seek public funding that can be leveraged to entice internet service providers to build or expand a fiber optic cable network in an underserved community.
A Broadband Co-op can help you, your business and your community connect to the wider world, affordably.
The Broadband Co-op Team at Bowles Rice has the knowledge and experience to assist in the formation of new broadband co-ops, as well as provide other legal services, including:
- Preparing organizational documents and regulatory filings
- Counseling broadband co-ops on strategic planning, corporate formalities, and funding opportunities
- Advice on compliance with the Broadband Co-op law, the relevant business and nonprofit corporation laws, and antitrust (illegal monopoly) concerns
- Connecting broadband co-ops to technical support experts and consultants, and marketing broadband co-ops to internet service providers
- Negotiating contracts with internet service providers to ensure that broadband co-ops receive high-speed internet connectivity at a reasonable price