By Joshua Seidemann, Vice President of Policy, NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
July 1, 2019
Over several years of contributing to various NTCA blogs I earned a reputation for sharing somewhat shambolic takes on tech and industry trends. The posts were often as much diving into obscure or academic references as they were about smart tech (how else would a post like “The Hierarchy of Nerds” emerge?) And then every so often I hit a writer’s block because the topic is so clear, so strong, so compelling that no linkage to literature or pop culture is necessary to illustrate, elucidate or illuminate the point. Today is one of those days.
Here’s the deal: Star Communications in Clinton, North Carolina, applied for and received an NTCA Smart Rural Communities (SRC) grant. The SRC grants require a matching funds commitment from a community entity that is not the NTCA service provider member and must include some technological component that takes advantage of or builds upon the NTCA member’s broadband capability. The goal is to encourage collaboration among the NTCA member company and other local leaders.
Star worked with Roseboro Rescue and EMS, a volunteer rescue squad. Star installed a Wi-Fi system in the station house that enables squad members to upload and update files from anywhere in the station house; the connection also supports continuing education for current and prospective first responders. Squad members explain that before the broadband capability was enhanced, they would take their work home with them rather than complete it “on shift.”
This video says it all. Actually, the squad members say it all. There is nothing for me to add, because there is nothing I could add to what they and Star have done.
For additional information about Smart Rural Communities programs, including grants, visit the program site here.