Smart Rural Community® Showcase Award Application Review Process FAQs

Who reviews applications?

The 14 member Smart Rural Community Advisory Council (SRCAC), with the assistance of various NTCA committees, is responsible for the review and scoring of all applications. NTCA staff serves in an administrative coordination role to ensure each application is reviewed by a large number of advisors. NTCA does not score applications.

How are the applications reviewed?

Applications are reviewed in a multi-round, multi-panel process. Panel assignments and rotations ensure a balance of review by peer companies and rural industry experts, including telecom, education, healthcare, energy and economic development.

How are the applications scored?

Qualitative standards are established prior to review and scoring. The standards are based on feedback from the previous years' applicants and SRCAC reviewers. A maximum number of points are given to each section. The applications with the most points are designated for a Smart Rural Community Showcase award.

Each section of the application provides a description of the desired information as well as its point value. Word limits are important to follow to qualify for a complete review.

What is the scoring process?

After all applications are scored, the SRCAC meets via conference call and in person to rank the applications. The highest and lowest scores each application receives are not considered in order to eliminate the potential impact of any outlier scores.

Who is qualified to review an application?

Application review qualifications: NTCA carrier members of the SRCAC who submit or otherwise participate in the preparation of an application are disqualified from reviewing any applications. Associate Members of NTCA who are members of the SRCAC must declare if they assisted in the preparation of applications and are disqualified from reviewing such applications, but may score other applications.