Broadband cooperatives in rural areas: Learning labs for rural development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

490 Downloads (Pure)


Based on a database with 75 rural community broadband initiatives in the Netherlands and a longitudinal analysis of a specific initiative in the municipality of Oldambt, the authors discuss how citizens campaign for improved internet connections in a cooperative setting. The authors present an 8-step model which shows that at each step citizens, governments and private telecom companies affect the completion of the step. Both telecom companies and governments, however, stick to their old way of working. The market parties try to slow down the process and prevent their market areas from being affected by the initiatives, while governments are unclear about (potential) policies. Community broadband initiatives learn ‘on the job’ and they need perseverance as well as social, intellectual and financial capital in order to be successful. The realization of rural broadband requires efforts from citizens and the involvement of facilitating and supportive governments.
Translated title of the contributionBroadband cooperatives in rural areas: Learning labs for rural development
Original languageDutch
Pages (from-to)40-50
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Community Broadband
  • Rural Development
  • Cooperatives
  • Neo-endogenous Development
  • Netherlands

Cite this