Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments, & the Competition Economics of Rural-Electric Co-ops

In our recent issue brief, Geoffrey Manne, Kristian Stout, and I considered the antitrust economics of state-owned enterprises—specifically the local power companies (LPCs) that are government-owned under the authority of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

While we noted that electricity cooperatives (co-ops) do not receive antitrust immunities and could therefore be subject to antitrust enforcement, we didn’t spend much time considering the economics of co-ops. This is important, because electricity co-ops themselves own a large number of poles and attaching to those poles at reasonable rates will be important to effectuate congressional intent to deploy broadband quickly in the rural areas those co-ops generally serve.

Read the full piece here.