CHICAGO, Ill. (September 16, 2013) – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier national association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies, today recognized seven communities in rural areas of the United States that have earned the title Smart Rural Community as part of a first-of-its-kind initiative to highlight efforts that make rural hometowns vibrant places in which to live and do business.
The goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is to foster the development of smart communities throughout rural America by recognizing trailblazers, providing a road map and identifying resources to assist other broadband providers and connected industries. In the first phase of this multifaceted initiative, NTCA recognized and awarded communities served by its members that embody the title Smart Rural Community by promoting access to next-generation applications and platforms such as distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security.
The following broadband providers received national recognition:
- Blue Valley Tele-Communications, Inc. (Home, Kan.)
- DRN (Ellendale, N.D.)
- ITS Telecom (Indiantown, Fla.)
- Mutual Telephone Company (Little River, Kan.)
- Nex-Tech, Inc. (Hays, Kan.)
- Park Region Telephone/Otter Tail Telcom (Underwood, Minn.)
- West Central Telephone Association (Sebeka, Minn.)
NTCA Smart Rural Community award recipients were recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 rural telecom leaders in Chicago. In addition to receiving national and local recognition for their extraordinary efforts, the selected Smart Rural Communities will receive tools to facilitate ongoing development and deployment of broadband-enabled applications that support and foster innovative solutions to challenges facing remote communities of the United States.
“These communities are proof that distance and geography do not have to be handicaps to innovation, growth and prosperity,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “By showcasing their efforts, we are opening doors for many more communities to chart their own paths to a more prosperous future with the help of reliable broadband communications and the steadfast commitment of hometown telecom providers.”
For more information about the initiative, visit www.ntca.org/smart.