NTCA is dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural communities by advocating for broadband and other advanced communications infrastructure and services. Connecting and collaborating with partners and allies enables the association to expand its efforts and focus on rural education, health care, commerce and public safety—all areas that contribute to the vitality of a community. Through strategic relationships, NTCA and its partners can make an even greater impact on sustaining and growing rural communities.
|In remote areas of the country, where routine or emergency exams might be difficult to perform, doctors—through the use of broadband—can communicate and provide quality support to their patients despite the geographic distances that separate them. Telemedicine is a form of clinical medicine, where medical information is transferred online so patients and doctors can more easily consult from a distance. Telemedicine generally refers to the use of telecommunications and can be as simple as medical specialists discussing a patient over the telephone, or as complex as videoconferencing.||Access to learning is an essential factor in the economic development of any community. Rural schools face unique challenges of small student populations that sometimes limit the capability of schools to fund specific programs, such as language classes. Through the use of technology, distance learning gives rural students access to more individualized instruction and advanced coursework and allows them to receive instruction from teachers who are off-site. This arrangement provides rural students with the same flexibility and opportunities their counterparts in urban areas enjoy.|
|Agriculture and ranching remain the leading types of commerce in rural communities; however, broadband access opens up a diverse range of market opportunities for small businesses. Rural businesses are creating websites and accessing markets online—both regional and international—that otherwise were not available.||Public safety officials represent local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, fire departments, hospitals (as emergency medical technicians), and various other agencies related to public utilities and transportation. Broadband is an essential tool for emergency management and enables public safety officials to talk to one another during potentially life-threatening situations.|