The Christian Science Monitor: Rural America lags on fast internet. Now small co-ops are building it.

EXCERPT: “When people in the little farm town of Winthrop, Minnesota, grew tired of slow internet service, they approached the local telephone and internet provider and asked for something faster. The company couldn’t help. Next they went to the county board. They proposed that Sibley County, in the corn and soybean flatland west of the Twin Cities, install its own broadband network. The board declined. So they did what rural Americans have been doing for more than a century: They started a cooperative and did it themselves. Called RS Fiber, the co-op has laid fiber optic cable across Sibley County (and parts of neighboring Renville) and is providing fast internet service to about 2,400 customers, both in towns and in the surrounding countryside. It’s helping farmers monitor their fields, workers toil from home, and local businesses find new opportunities.” FULL STORY: