Modern education, healthcare and commerce all depend on access to the internet. When broadband is unavailable, too slow or too expensive, the impacts can be profound with jobs and capital investment locating elsewhere, students falling behind their urban peers and existing businesses missing out on opportunities to sell their goods and services. To support the growing technology and communications needs of modern power grids, many co-ops already operate internal fiber optic networks that reach deep into rural Tennessee. Co-ops have a legacy of expanding critical infrastructure beyond the city limits. A generation ago, the issue was electricity. Today, it is broadband.