The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) is partnering with Nokia to expedite member companies’ broadband service rollouts and expansions. The Nokia NCTC deal will make Nokia equipment available to NCTC members.

NCTC represents more than 700 cable and broadband operators the U.S., with members providing broadband service to about 15 million consumers. Many members are smaller providers located in rural areas, where they are looking to expand broadband access. The idea behind NCTC is to gain strength in numbers to obtain better deals for member companies.

Several NCTC members had winning bids in the Phase I Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) auction, which awarded funding to cover some costs of bringing broadband to unserved rural areas. These companies are expected to need a substantial amount of broadband equipment to support their buildouts.

Nokia agreed to provide NCTC members with tailored fiber solutions and access to “premier service programs.” Equipment offerings can provide an upgrade path to 25Gbps, according to Nokia.

“This marks the beginning of a partnership that will greatly benefit NCTC members and their customers as demand for higher performing broadband is growing faster than ever before,” said Sandy Motley, president, Nokia Fixed Networks division, in a prepared statement about the Nokia NCTC deal. “In addition to our family of PON products built on our in-house designed chipset, we expect our agreement will expand to include a full range of fixed and wireless network solutions. NCTC members now have ready access to Nokia’s extensive team of experienced professionals, capable of supporting any type of network expansion and upgrade challenges.”

“We are very excited to establish a partnership with a technology leader like Nokia,” said Rob Smith, NCTC senior director of procurement, in a prepared statement. “Nokia is the only NCTC partner that currently offers a 25G symmetrical PON solution, and its complete wired and wireless service portfolio is cutting edge. Nokia is clearly committed to our membership and to enabling their success. We look forward to a productive and beneficial partnership for decades to come.”

NCTC has been ramping up partnerships with broadband and FTTP hardware and software vendors. NCTC and Adtran struck a similar deal last year and also partnered with Plume for connected home products.

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