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Medina EC News

Board Votes on Broadband

Board of directors considers broadband

The board of directors voted at its February 2022 meeting to not enter the broadband industry at this time.

The rural nature of our service area offers many benefits—wide-open spaces, starry nights away from the city lights, miles of wildflowers and a more peaceful way of living are just a few things many folks appreciate about country living. Although quiet and peaceful, country life has its challenges. In 1938, Medina Electric Cooperative was created to provide safe, reliable and affordable electricity to our rural service area when big investor-owned utilities would not. We continue to provide dependable and affordable power across 17 counties in South Texas as we grow rapidly.

As that growth continues, new challenges arise. Cooperatives across the nation are looking at broadband service for their members. Medina EC understands our members want the same reliable and affordable access to internet as our neighbors in the city. That’s why, at the beginning of 2021, Medina EC established a broadband feasibility team to research the possibility of offering broadband service to our members. Unfortunately, over the course of the year as that team worked with experts to evaluate multiple options, it became evident that due to the size of our service area and how spread out the population is, combined with already established providers in our area, there wasn’t an affordable and fair way to offer broadband service to members.

The broadband team studied many options, including offering broadband to all members or limiting service to densely populated areas of the co-op’s territory. Financial considerations included looking at combinations of federal grant money and debt. Ultimately, the addition of a broadband service would not positively contribute to the reliable, safe and affordable electricity service that Medina EC was established to provide.

Medina EC will continue to evaluate and study future programs and services that are beneficial to members and continue to prioritize providing reliable and affordable energy while protecting cooperative assets and maintaining strong financial health. Any updates to future broadband decisions will be available at MedinaEC.org/Broadband.