Smart Rural Communities FAQs

 

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What is Smart Rural CommunityTM?

Smart Rural Communities™ (SRC) is an initiative of NTCA that promotes rural broadband networks and applications that communities leverage to support innovative economic development, education, health care, efficient energy distribution and use, and other vital functions. 

What are the benefits of being an SRC Provider?

SRC Providers enjoy affiliation with a nationally-recognized program that represents innovative and collaborative use of advanced broadband services to support important community functions. SRC-designated companies will receive rights to the use trademarked SRC logo; marketing collateral; and listing on the NTCA website.

Are there any fees associated with SRC participation?

SRC Providers enter into a licensing agreement with NTCA for an annual fee of $500. SRC designated companies receive marking collateral and are promoted by NTCA on the NTCA website and other media.

What is the difference between the four elements of the SRC program?

SRC offers NTCA members four categories of participation: 

  • SRC Providers offer 25/3 Mbps broadband service to at least 50% of their service area; have at least 50% broadband adoption rates among subscribers; and affirm their commitment to the SRC Principles Statement. NTCA members can apply online.
  • SRC Showcase Award Winner companies demonstrate exceptional, collaborative achievement with other local leaders to deploy broadband-enabled solutions. Additional information and the application can be found online.
  • SRC Gig-Capable Providers can provide gigabit service to 95% of an exchange or census block without trenching or deploying new aerial facilities. NTCA members can apply for the SRC Gig-Capable Provider designation at the time of or subsequent to their SRC Provider application.
  • SRC Grants are available to support innovative broadband-enabled solutions in local communities. Grant applications are typically due in December of each year. Additional information, including examples of past awards and guidelines, can be found online.
I am already an SRC Showcase winner – do I need to apply for SRC again?

SRC Showcase companies from 2013-2018 must apply to participate in the SRC program but will enjoy a three-year waiver of licensing fees. More information about how to access this discount waiver will be emailed to Showcase companies directly.

I am already a NTCA Gig-Capable provider – do I need to apply for SRC again?

Current NTCA Gig-certified providers members are not required to submit new engineering support letters or other information; however, application for SRC designation must be made in order to obtain rights to new SRC Gig-Capable logos and marketing materials. As of May 2019, NTCA is not supporting the “Gig-certified provider” brand and encourages members to discontinue use of it by the end of 2019. 

Can I co-brand SRC with my company?

Yes, SRC companies can co-brand with SRC, subject to the Usage Guidelines that are incorporated by reference into the Licensing Agreement. Information about how to co-brand will be shared with companies upon successful completion and acceptance of program applications.

Can I change the color of the logo to match my company colors?

The SRC logo color cannot be changed except to white or black for certain specialty applications; please refer to the Usage Guidelines for details. The value of the SRC “brand” increases with consistent use of the mark among the many members of the SRC community.

How do I verify approval of logo usage for clothing and other specialty items?

For specialty items including clothing, sporting goods, and household/office items, please contact smartrural@ntca.org

How often must I renew the SRC licensing agreement?

The SRC licensing agreement and associated fees renew annually, and after the application and initial fee is paid will renew on the same cycle as a company’s membership dues. 

Can companies that are not members of NTCA be a SRC?

SRC is reserved for members of NTCA, whose robust, facilities-based broadband networks and commitment to their local communities empower the collaborative innovation that is the hallmark of SRC company achievements. Only NTCA members in good standing may participate in the SRC program.

How do I apply?

NTCA ILEC members may apply to be a Smart Rural Community Provider by logging in to Member Central. Please note that the individual completing the application must be a company administrator for the member company with access to the “Company Management” button.  Once logged into Member Central, simply select Company Management then SRC Application. If applying for gig-capable provider status for the first time, please submit a letter of confirmation to smartrural@ntca.org

What is the timeline for approval?

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis. Applicants can expect to be notified of the status of their application within five-to-ten business days of submission.