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Collaborating with Electrical Co-ops to promote Digital Equity

Much of the talk about promoting digital equity has centered around the debate as to whether or not ACP (Affordable Connectivity Program) should be extended. It is our opinion that ACP has been very valuable, but that a better solution is to empower communities to take control of their Internet infrastructure and turn consumers into pronsumers with commons based peer production. Thus, we have been uploading relevant documents into our Chatbot.

We asked our Chatbot the following question: “What are things to say to an existing electrical co-op that would encourage them to employ Althea technologies to offer broadband connectivity to their users?”

Please reply to this post with your thoughts about improving this message and suggestions for how we can collaborate to approach existing electrical cooperatives.

Internet IMD Mentor (Chatbot):

When approaching an existing electrical co-op to consider employing Althea technologies for offering broadband connectivity, it’s important to focus on the specific benefits and values that align with the cooperative’s goals and needs. Here are several key points to highlight:

  1. Community Empowerment and Participation: Emphasize that Althea’s technology aligns with the co-op’s ethos of community empowerment. Althea enables a decentralized form of Internet service provision, which turns consumers into “prosumers” – users who not only consume internet services but also have the potential to provide (sell) it to others. This peer-to-peer model fosters community involvement and allows members to have a stake in the network’s success.
  2. Financial Benefits: Point out the potential financial benefits. Althea’s blockchain-based model can increase financial autonomy for the community by reducing dependency on larger, centralized ISPs. Users can earn by providing bandwidth, creating a new revenue stream for the co-op and its members.
  3. Enhanced Resilience and Reliability: Highlight the resilience of a decentralized network. In such a network, the failure of a single node (or a few nodes) doesn’t significantly impact the overall network, ensuring more reliable connectivity. This is particularly crucial in rural or underserved areas where traditional ISP services might be less reliable.
  4. Scalability and Administrative Efficiency: Althea’s blockchain technology allows for efficient scaling of the network without a significant increase in administrative complexity. The automation of transactions and record-keeping can manage growth seamlessly, which is crucial for co-ops that might have limited administrative resources.
  5. Digital Equity and Accessibility: Stress the potential for digital equity. Althea’s model enables affordable and accessible internet services, especially in areas underserved by traditional ISPs. This aligns with the co-op’s mission to serve its community’s needs and bridge digital divides.
  6. Environmental Sustainability: Discuss how decentralized networks can lead to more efficient use of resources. For example, excess bandwidth could be redistributed within the network, reducing waste and contributing to sustainability goals.
  7. Technical Support and Community Collaboration: Althea’s model promotes community collaboration and knowledge sharing. This aspect can be particularly appealing to co-ops that value collective problem-solving and community engagement.
  8. Policy Influence and Leadership Role: By adopting innovative technology like Althea, the co-op can position itself as a leader in modern, equitable internet access solutions. This leadership can influence broader policy decisions and encourage more decentralized, equitable forms of internet governance.
  9. Compatibility with Existing Infrastructure: Explain how Althea’s technology can integrate with existing infrastructure. For an electrical co-op, the possibility to leverage existing structures and resources to deploy a new service can be a significant advantage.

When presenting these points, it’s beneficial to tailor your message to the specific context and values of the co-op, using examples and case studies that resonate with their current challenges and aspirations. Additionally, providing clear, tangible examples of other successful implementations of Althea technology can help in illustrating the potential impact and feasibility of the project.

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