The recent launch of gigabit speed service from its Midwest Connections subsidiary has resulted in more local, state and national media for Midwest Energy Cooperative as a leader in the rural broadband revolution.
In November, rural broadband again hit the national scene as the cover story for RE Magazine, and featured an interview with Midwest CEO Bob Hance and other co-op leaders who are blazing broadband trails for rural America. Hance, along with other innovative industry leaders, was interviewed and featured in “Broadband Service: The New Greatest Thing,” which demonstrates how co-op fiber projects are revitalizing their mission and communities.
The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) also featured Midwest’s story in the Sept. 18 edition of Electric Co-op Today, and in October, the co-op was featured in The Daily Yonder, a national multi-media source of news, commentary, research and features for rural communities. Craig Settles, a broadband consultant and author, featured Midwest and other electric co-op broadband leaders in his story, “Co-ops Tackle Broadband, Overcome State Network Restrictions.” “We were also featured in his weekly podcast, and enjoyed a lot of active engagement in the Twittersphere,” smiles Patty Nowlin, Midwest communications director.
Further, Candy Riem, Midwest VP of marketing & member information services, was a panelist on marketing “best practices” at the 2015 Calix User Group Conference in Las Vegas. She shared the crowd-sourcing approach the co-op implemented in partnership with Civitium to drive sign-ups and determine next steps in their broadband building process.
“This week represented another great milestone for TeamFiber,” adds Nowlin. “We had the honor of lighting up our 1,000th customer…our friends at the Cass County Council on Aging.” The nonprofit had fiber internet and telephone services installed at their Lowe Center facility in Cassopolis, which offers internet access to seniors and allows them to help seniors file their tax returns online. The Center also offers a monthly movie that is streamed over the internet.
“We’re quickly approaching 3,000 members signed up for service, and that number does not include those signing up in our remote areas (outside of our electric service territory),” Nowlin said.