NTCA Testimony on Smart Rural Communities, Broadband Infrastructure

For Immediate Release
Contact:Laura Withers, (703) 351-2087, lwithers@ntca.org

Arlington, Va. (March 16, 2017)— Kurt Gruendling, vice president of marketing and business development for Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (WCVT) in Waitsfield, Vt., testified today on behalf of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association during the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection hearing, “Disrupter Series: Smart Communities.”

Waitsfield was recognized by NTCA as a Smart Rural CommunitySM in 2014 for WCVT’s collaborative work with government and business leaders in the Mad River Valley to promote economic development efforts through broadband access. Thanks to the broadband infrastructure WCVT deploys and maintains, all schools, many of the larger businesses and many residential customers in its serving area are now served by fiber-to-the-home technology offering speeds up to 1 Gbps.

The following is excerpted from Gruendling’s written testimony:

“While Vermont might be best known for its picturesque landscape, world-class skiing and quaint inns and Bed and Breakfasts, look deeper and you will find a vibrant high-tech business community served by a state-of-the-art telecommunications network that continues to evolve. Residences and businesses, both large and small, connect to this network and utilize the technology to compete on a global basis. Access to affordable broadband service is a critical component of economic development in rural communities and we are committed to finding ways to make this happen.

“NTCA member companies continue to lead the way in deploying high-speed, sustainable broadband that responds to the needs of consumers and businesses in rural America. The broadband infrastructure they deploy enables applications that rural and urban communities can leverage for education, commerce, health care and government services. Broadband-capable networks facilitate greater interconnection of community resources and enable greater participation in the national and global economy.”

The full text of Gruendling’s testimony is available online.

About Smart Rural CommunitySM

Smart Rural CommunitySM (SRC) is an initiative of NTCA that promotes the development and deployment of broadband-enabled applications that the community can leverage to improve vital services. Now entering its fifth year, the SRC initiative supports rural recognition awards, grants and educational programming. Since 2013, 44 NTCA members have been recognized with the Smart Rural Community Showcase award for demonstrating excellence in collaborating with other local leaders to incorporate broadband-enabled solutions to support economic development, education, health care, public safety, and other vital community functions. These communities understand the importance of embracing and relying upon dedicated local leaders from many fields and industries who work collaboratively to deploy broadband-enabled solutions to create and improve opportunities in rural America. Learn more at www.ntca.org/smart.

About NTCA 

NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing more than 800 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the tech evolution for rural consumers, delivering innovations that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.