A group of large telecommunications companies has announced it is launching a national network of high-speed phone cooperatives.
The call for a new type of telecommunications cooperative was made by the American Telephone and Telegraph Co., the nation’s largest provider of telephone service.
The new companies, called the Highland Telephone Association, plan to operate their own fiber optic cables and fiber-optic networks.
The Highland Association has a board of directors, including several telecommunications executives, and has a membership of more than 3,000 companies.
The group wants to establish fiber-copper, copper, copper-alloys, fiber-wire and fiber optic networks.
Its mission statement includes “promoting the high-quality service of high quality telecommunications services, the development and use of broadband and telecommunications equipment and services, and the establishment of new communications services and services that enhance our ability to participate in the 21st century economy and society.”
The Highlands Association plans to build fiber-networking facilities in four states, which include Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.
The association is seeking public support for the initiative, and says it has received a total of $5.5 million in contributions, and expects to collect another $3 million from a network of investors.
The association will also raise money from a new federal grant program.
The announcement comes as the nation struggles to recover from the worst financial crisis in decades.
The economy shrank by 6.3 percent in the fourth quarter, a figure that the government blames on the financial crisis.
The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents the country’s television and radio broadcasters, says the nation is experiencing a slow-growth economy that could lead to a loss of jobs.
The American Association of Petroleum Geologists, which promotes oil and gas drilling, said that if oil and natural gas prices remain low, the U.S. could fall behind in the global economy.