SRC Logo+url_liveAs the NTCA Fall Conference approaches, excitement builds for a new round of Smart Rural Community award winners. While we eagerly await the announcement, let’s reflect on a few of the past winners whose accomplishments have inspired others to follow suit. Here are three communities that have proven #RuralIsCool.

The Smart Rural Community: Wisconsin Rapids, WI

The Smart Rural Provider: Solarus

What Makes Them Smart: Solarus won NTCA’s SRC Showcase Award grant by coordinating the use of advanced communications services with local leaders in health care, public safety and education. As the first service provider to offer gigabit speed in Central Wisconsin, Solarus provided the area with an opportunity for advancement and substantial economic development.

Smart Takeaway: Gigabit internet service is a great opportunity to boost community development while demonstrating your company’s dedication to the customers.

The Smart Rural Community: Valdez, AK

The Smart Rural Provider: Copper Valley Telecom

What Makes Them Smart: CVT won NTCA’s SRC Collaboration Challenge partnering with the Copper River School District to provide DSL scholarships that increased participation in the district’s online learning program. CVT was awarded with a $5,000 grant to further develop broadband-enabled solutions for Valdez, AK.

Smart Takeaway: Invest in education – it’s a smart way to maximize resources while initiating lasting change in your community.

The Smart Rural Community: Miltonvale, KS

The Smart Rural Provider: Twin Valley Telephone Co.

What Makes Them Smart: Twin Valley won NTCA’s SRC Showcase Award by deploying and leveraging advanced technologies to innovate in the areas of economic development and commerce, education, enhanced health care, government services, security and energy use. Twin Valley’s advanced communications services and collaboration with local leaders secured their community’s recognition as a leader in rural broadband solutions.

Smart Takeaway: Collaboration with community leaders generates fresh ideas, incorporates multiple perspectives and leads to measurable change.

The common factor between these winners is a dedication to the communities they serve. Rural providers have the ability to change the lives of their customers, and every employee’s effort contributes to that goal. Innovation, resourcefulness and ambition came together for these three providers, earning them the international recognition they rightly deserve.

Want to learn more about NTCA’s Smart Rural Communities program and opportunities? Visit their websitefor information on how to apply and take a peek at the resources they offer. We’ll see you at the NTCA Fall Conference in a few short weeks!