The Coop was founded in 2001 because at the time, no one offered DSL or cable modem Internet access in our neighborhood, and because the voice telephone service to the neighborhood is of such poor quality that it was (and is) not possible to get modem connections faster than about 26K bits per second. The Coop is a Colorado nonprofit corporation and is federally tax-exempt under 501(c)(12).
The Coop’s launch of service in 2002 was made possible only by loans from “angels,” neighborhood residents who chose to lend money to the Coop with no assurance the loans would ever be repaid. The Coop reached a milestone in the first quarter of 2004 successfully repaying (ahead of schedule, and with interest) all of the “angel” loans. The Coop is now debt-free.
via Welcome to the Ruby Ranch Internet Cooperative Association.