WordSouth team group photoOur mission is to improve life and expand opportunities in Rural America by helping its people harness the power of broadband for health care, education, business and economic development, personal growth and community enrichment. Like the providers we serve, WordSouth is a mission-driven company. Our mission leads us to believe certain things, and these beliefs guide us as we look for new opportunities to serve:

  1. We believe it is in the best interest of our nation for all Americans to have access to a reliable broadband network, in accordance with the same principles that led to the nationwide electric grid and public switched telephone network. It is a matter of national security, economic opportunity and personal well-being.
  2. We believe state and federal governments have a responsibility to leverage taxpayer dollars for programs that encourage and support the deployment of broadband service to the millions of rural Americans with no access to a reliable, modern broadband network.
  3. We believe the cooperative model provides the most effective approach for delivering broadband to rural America. This member-focused model has proven tremendously effective for the deployment of telephone and electric service, and is the best hope for extending broadband to the millions still without access.
  4. We believe in working with companies who are looking for long-term partnerships, not short-term solutions. Rural broadband is a long game, and when we work with a company we invest the time and resources to understand their unique goals and challenges that impact their decisions for years to come.
  5. We believe the telecommunications cooperatives should be recognized at all levels for the advanced technology they have delivered to America’s hard-to-serve rural regions, often providing greater connectivity than that available in the metropolitan areas of their states. Any policies or initiatives should acknowledge and build upon the work these companies have already done in bringing world-class broadband to their service areas.
  6. We believe the electric cooperatives have an important role to play in rural broadband deployment. These companies have a history of service to their communities, along with vital infrastructure and resources already in place, making them well positioned to deliver broadband to those yet unserved.
  7. We believe the pursuit of partnerships between telecommunications and electric cooperatives is in keeping with “Cooperation Among Cooperatives,” one of the Seven Cooperative Principles. These guiding principles capture the spirit of the modern cooperative movement in America and the member-centric vision of its founders. Electrics cover a large landmass with a network of infrastructure, and telcos have the deep technical knowledge and customer service experience specific to providing broadband service. The rural consumer is the ultimate winner when cooperatives explore and pursue these synergies.
  8. We believe cooperatives should never compete for the same broadband customer. There are too many rural Americans without access to broadband for two cooperatives to spend resources vying for the same customer. A good faith effort should always be made to work together to ensure scarce resources are used to deliver broadband to as many people as possible. Any cooperative entering the broadband business should consider this principle part of its business case.
  9. We believe no tax dollars, federal or state, should ever be used by one cooperative to compete against another cooperative. Not only is this a waste of money and a violation of the public trust, it goes against the principle of extending broadband to as many rural Americans as possible, as quickly as possible.
  10. We believe that every cooperative providing broadband service should also be focused on broadband adoption. Whether electric or telco, every cooperative should dedicate resources to not only connecting customers but also to educating those customers on how to use broadband to impact their homes, businesses and communities.