What Is a Smart Rural Community?
What makes a rural community “smart”? A dynamic suite of broadband-enabled solutions that builds community strength and enables global competition.
Fundamentally, a smart rural community uses broadband networks to enable applications that the community can leverage for innovative economic development and commerce, blue-ribbon education, first-rate health care, cutting-edge government services, robust security and more efficient energy distribution and use.
Broadband facilitates greater interconnection of the community’s resources and can prepare and enable citizens’ participation in the global economy.
A smart rural community relies not only on high-capacity broadband connections, but also on teams of highly motivated and collaborative leaders—the people behind the technology. From manufacturers and application developers to telecommunications providers and, ultimately, the users who adopt and employ broadband-enabled services, it takes a lot of people to create a smart rural community, and encourage its continued development and evolution.
A smart rural community should strive to create next-generation applications and platforms, such as the examples below:
- Interactive, collaborative and customized learning environments that engage today’s students and appeal to their unique learning styles and needs.
- Dynamic health care infrastructure that facilitates health information technology (HIT) applications such as electronic scheduling, "store and forward" technologies and remote patient monitoring services.
- Mobile connectivity that allows farmers to access real-time weather reports and other information to improving decision-making, reach new markets, and enable the next-generation of precision farming.
- A platform to connect stakeholders with federal, state and local government resources and enable users to conduct government transactions online.
- A next-generation 911 alerting system that communicates with the public using multimedia, and an interoperable LTE wireless network that allow first responders to communicate more quickly and effectively with one another during emergencies.
- Modern utility networks -- such as energy, transportation, water and waste – that provide the utility operator with remote insight into the network’s operations, and the consumer with real-time information and control over his utility use and expenditures
- A smart home network that enables energy efficiency, communication and appliance automation.
What is the NTCA Smart Rural Community Initiative?
The NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is fostering the development of smart rural communities throughout the United States by providing a road-map and resources to assist rural broadband providers and connected industries.
The Smart Rural Communities Advisory Committee (SRCAC) will support the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative by recruiting technical and business expertise of its members to implementation of the program. The SRCAC includes representatives from the communications, power utility, education, health care and rural economic development industries. Certain NTCA Committees are also be represented on the SRCAC. The SRCAC also includes an NTCA Staff Liaison.
NTCA Associate Member Advisory Council (Chair)
NTCA Innovation & Technology Committee (Chairs)
American Telemedicine Association (ATA)
Dickey Rural Networks
National Information Solutions Cooperative
National Rural Economic Developers Association
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association
National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative
Rural School and Community Trust
Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural Health