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Oh, yes.  The rural areas of the US are to this day served almost exclusively by rural electric cooperatives.  There are also some successful telephone and other cooperatives, but the REC's in particular have proven the viability of the cooperative model.

The Rural Electrification Administration, now called the Rural Utilities Service, was and is one of the most successful of the New Deal programs, bringing electricity to rural America.  It is not likely that the REA would have worked at all, absent the coops.  Most investor owned utilities have never been interested in building distribution networks outside urban areas.

Disclaimer:  I'm far from objective on this topic.  I've been a coop customer and member essentially my entire life, and an employee for most of my adult life.  Cooperatives have been very good to me and mine.

We all bleed the same color.

by budr on Tue Oct 3rd, 2006 at 11:13:17 PM EST
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