Press Release

New Orleans, La., (April 29, 2019) –This morning during the opening general session of its Marketing + Sales Conference in New Orleans, La., NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association announced the launch of its newly redesigned Smart Rural Communities® national recognition and award program. The Smart Rural Communities®program promotes rural broadband and its role in supporting innovative economic development, effective education, efficient energy distribution and use, state-of-the-art health care and other important issues for rural America.

Building on the success of its Smart Rural Community Showcase Award program and its Gig-Capable Provider certification, NTCA developed the Smart Rural Communities® initiative to celebrate the nearly 850 small, community-based rural broadband providers in its membership for the spectacular work they do to connect rural America. Even in the face of low population density, geographic challenges, regulatory hurdles and limited budgets, NTCA member companies provide their communities with internet speeds faster than can be found in many urban areas.

The Smart Rural Communities® program has four constituent parts representing new branding and storytelling tools for NTCA members: the Smart Rural Community Provider™ branding platform; the Gig-Capable Smart Rural Community Provider™ designation, the Smart Rural Community Showcase Awards™ and the Smart Rural Community Grants™ program. Each is accompanied by tools and resources to help program participants market their cutting-edge services and celebrate their contributions to connecting more rural communities with advanced broadband communications. NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield remarked, “I am so pleased to launch the redesign of our Smart Rural Communities program. Our members have an established record of providing smart, innovative solutions for our rural communities and we are excited to amplify even more stories of their success”. So far, 69 companies have received the Smart Rural Community Showcase Award™.

For more information about the Smart Rural Communities® program—including previous winners of the Showcase Awards for exemplary service and innovation, as well as instructions for how to apply to the rebranded recognition program—visit

Press Release

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