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Editor: Christian Hamaker, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Rural Telecom, established in 1981, is the quarterly magazine
published by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, a
nonprofit, cooperative corporation formed in 1954 under the
laws of the District of Columbia.
NTCA’s Mission: NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, an
association of small, rural, community-based communications
providers, is dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural
communities through the advocacy of broadband and other
advanced communications infrastructure and services.
NTCA represents more than 800 small, rural, locally owned and
operated telephone cooperatives and commercial companies
in the United States and abroad, as well as state and regional
telephone associations and companies that are the suppliers of
products and services to the small and rural broadband industry.
Our readers are the managers, directors, attorneys and key
employees of these broadband companies as well as consultants,
government officials and telecommunications experts.
NTCA Board of Directors, General Counsel and Chief
President: William P. Hegmann
Vice President: John Klatt
Secretary/Treasurer: Kevin Beyer
Central Region Commercial: Doug Boone
Cooperative: Ron Hinds
North Central Region Commercial: John Klatt
Cooperative: Kevin Beyer
Northeast Region Commercial: Mark Bahnson
Cooperative: James M. Dauby
Northwest Region Commercial: Allen R. Hoopes
Cooperative: Don Bitz
Southeast Region Commercial: H. Keith Oliver
General Counsel: Don Richards
Cooperative: J. Frederick Johnson
Southwest Region Commercial: Janet Britton
Cooperative: William P. Hegmann
Chief Executive Officer: Shirley Bloomfield
Statements of Opinion and Fact are the individual views of the
authors and not necessarily the positions of NTCA, its officers,
directors, members or staff.
© 2017 NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
Editorial, advertising and subscription offices: Periodicals
postage is paid at Arlington, Va., and at additional mailing
offices. Postmaster, send address changes to “Rural Telecom,”
4121 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1000, Arlington, VA 22203-1801.
By Christian Hamaker, Editor
Over the summer, my wife and I drove our four kids from
Virginia to Colorado, where we stayed for 10 days in what
we were told would be a “cabin” just outside of the popular winter ski area and tourist destination of Breckenridge. The cabin turned out to be
a luxury vacation home—more of a mini-mansion with a wood exterior. It was
both rustic and opulent, with all the modern conveniences and then some.
There was just one thing missing from the mountaintop community: high-speed internet. We’d been warned by the home’s owner that he didn’t have landline internet and that the cellular service, while available, was a bit flaky. We
managed to cobble together a hot spot via one of our tablets, but that generated
a very weak Wi-Fi signal—and only if the device could find a connection to the
Maybe a landline connection would have been more robust, but a graffiti-decorated sign at the subdivision entrance told us that our family wasn’t alone
in our perceived disappointment about high-speed access in the community.
The sign, which promised “High-Speed Internet Is Here!” had an emphatic,
spray-painted “No!” next to those words.
The lesson, it would seem, is not to promise something that you aren’t delivering—at least as experienced by the people who actually want and need access
to what you’ve promised them. Discontent and anger follow quickly on the perception of broken promises.
NTCA’s Smart Rural Community (SRC) program just celebrated its fifth anniversary, and it delivers what it promises: extraordinary achievements in promoting
rural broadband networks and their broadband-enabled applications in rural
communities. Telcos are awarded based on their ability to demonstrate the use
of these technologies through innovative economic development, education,
health care, government services, safety and security, and more efficient energy
distribution and use.
Our cover story (see p. 18) revisits some past SRC Showcase Award winners
while showing how far the program has come since its early days. And with 13
Showcase Award winners in 2017, the program is growing—another testament
to rural telecom providers, their robust networks and the innovative applications
those networks enable.
That’s good news for the country and for its rural residents, so take a moment
to read about the program and its newest batch of winners. It’s all worth celebrating.
a Promise Fulfilled