Building a Cooperative Broadband Network

Our mission at netBlazr is to help businesses build a cooperative broadband network, in which co-op members receive FREE (or ultra low cost) internet service.  We are Skype for Broadband.

So how do we build a “broadband cooperative”?  Viral online communities and cooperative buying (a la Groupon) are widespread in the B2C world, but businesses rarely leverage social media and online tools to work for a mutual benefit.  Why is this?   Particularly when so many businesses are positive corporate citizens and supportive of their local community. Companies sponsor public events, provide greenscaping, clean highways, share their office space, encourage employees to volunteer, contribute to local civic organizations, and so on…

We are confident that the value proposition of free/affordable broadband is compelling in it’s own right for businesses.  But how do we get our Members to tell their colleagues and neighbors about the broadband cooperative?  Our business model cannot support an army of sales people or Superbowl advertisements (we wouldn’t be able to offer free service!)  We need a simple yet powerful word-of-mouth mechanism to build awareness.

Since the more Members in our cooperative, the better the network performs, everyone benefits from spreading the word. We are exploring a number of online and offline approaches to do just that.  We want to celebrate each Member of the network for their commitment to their community and enable them to tell other businesses in their neighborhood about netBlazr’s innovative broadband cooperative.

Stay tuned for more about our plans, and as always let me know if you have suggestions.