NTCA Announces Smart Rural Community Grant and Showcase Award Recipients

For Immediate Release
Contact: Kelly Wismer, (703) 351-2015, kwismer@ntca.org

Austin, Texas (February 26, 2018)—NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association today announced four Smart Rural CommunitySM Collaboration Challenge grants and recognized four SRC Showcase Award recipients as part of the association’s initiative to highlight efforts that make rural communities 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 and Canada by encouraging innovative implementation of broadband solutions and access to next-generation applications for distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security. Smart Rural Community provides educational programming, matching grant resources and an award program to recognize top-performing communities.

The Collaboration Challenge grants promote development of broadband-enabled solutions for communities and support collaborative efforts in economic development, education, energy, health care and public safety.

The SRC Collaboration Challenge grant recipients are:

  • Consolidated Telecommunications Co. (Brainerd, Minn.) received a grant to enable a full classroom to experience virtual reality (VR) tours of distant significant sites, scientific endeavors, and natural resources.
  • GRM Networks (Princeton, Mo.) received a grant to support a business incubator facility designed to train area high school students in business development; the facility will be staffed by senior citizen volunteers.
  • Panhandle Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Guymon, Okla.) received a grant for the installation of an HD surveillance and security system at a 32-acre public park; the system will also support public WiFi access.
  • Star Communications (Clinton, N.C.) received a grant to support the implementation of digital literacy and interactive learning programs for pre-K students at a local preschool and day care center.

The SRC Showcase Award recipients are:

  • Arvig (Walker, Minn.)
  • Atlantic Telephone Membership Corp. (ATMC) (Brunswick County, N.C.)
  • Bledsoe Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (Pikeville, Tenn.)
  • Bruce Telephone Co. (Bruce, Miss.)

In addition to receiving national and local recognition for their extraordinary efforts, the selected Smart Rural Community award recipients will join recipients of prior year awards to formulate best practices and assist other rural communities in the implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to drive economic and community strength in rural areas throughout the nation.

For more information about the initiative, visit www.ntca.org/smart.                                                       


NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 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 transformative technological advancements, regulatory challenges and marketplace competition, NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks 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, e-commerce, health care, agriculture and education, and it contributes billions of dollars to the U.S. economy each year. Visit us at www.ntca.org.