San Francisco, Calif. – September 27, 2022 – NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield announced the winners of the 2022 Smart Rural CommunitySM (SRC) Showcase Awards, presented annually to top-performing NTCA member broadband providers in recognition of their extraordinary achievements in promoting rural broadband networks and their broadband-enabled applications.
The Smart Rural Community program is a network of communities supported by NTCA members who are committed to driving growth and creating opportunities through robust broadband service. The Smart Rural Community Showcase Awards recognize extraordinary achievements in promoting rural broadband networks and their broadband-enabled applications in rural communities. Providers are awarded based on their ability to demonstrate the use of these technologies to enable innovative solutions to improve economic development, education, health care and other vital services.
The following providers were recognized for their commitment to their communities:
ASTAC (Anchorage, Alaska)
ASTAC proudly serves the “top of the world,” and has taken the most northern part of Alaska from having one pay phone in 1981 to thousands of miles of fiber internet. It has found partners at every level to help bridge the digital divide in some of the hardest to reach parts of our country—from USDA and the Bureau of Land Management to native corporations and the cities of Atqasuk and Utqiagvik. In some cases, the Arctic Slope techs were out burying fiber in negative 30-degree weather to get the job done.
Cirrinity (Antigo, Wis.)
When the pandemic started, Cirrinity worked with tribal leaders on the Stockbridge-Munsee tribal lands and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to bury fiber and provide service to 15 tribal buildings and 725 tribal homes, improving telehealth, business, and education on the lands. Cirrinity also rolled out a managed Wi-Fi service to connect to customers remotely and helped several local businesses stand up their remote workforces.
Endeavor Communications (Cloverdale, Ind.)
Endeavor has a huge impact on the local agricultural industry, with many local farmers utilizing broadband to connect and monitor their grains and livestock. The company partner with C Bar C Expo Center, a local equine facility that has a $220 million economic impact on the region. One C Bar C leader wrote, “With a yearly attendance of 250,000 people, Endeavor’s Broadband service has allowed our facility to support our attendees and give them the experience they deserve.”
Home Communications (Galva, Kansas)
During the pandemic, Home Communications partnered with local schools and families to bring service to students during remote work. It also ran a promotion for all first responders and medical personnel for three months of free service as a thank you for everything they did during the pandemic. Home operates a school little library, which shares books for free and has been a family business committed to bringing service to their neighbors for decades.
Shawnee Communications (Equality, Ill.)
Shawnee worked with its local hospital in Hardin County to enable telehealth services, making it possible for rural residents to avoid driving two hours just to have certain scans conducted. It has also partnered with Golconda Pharmacy, which has a private room so that patients can have consultations with virtual pharmacists. Shawnee also has partnerships with Gallatin County High School and the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center and installed fiber broadband in the areas surrounding the Shawnee National Forrest.
“We have been presenting these awards for nearly 10 years now, and I continue to be amazed by the stories of SRC providers amplifying the power of broadband to keep their small towns thriving and growing,” said Bloomfield. “Congratulations to ASTAC, Cirrinity, Endeavor, Home, and Shawnee for your amazing accomplishments in agriculture, community building, economic development, education, health care and beyond. The future of rural America is bright thanks to committed providers like you.”
The 2022 Showcase Award Winners were announced at the NTCA’s Fall Conference in San Francisco.