Press Release

ARLINGTON, VA. (FEBRUARY 13, 2019)—At its annual Rural Telecom Industry Meeting and EXPO (RTIME) in New Orleans, La., last week, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association announced four Smart Rural CommunitySM Collaboration Challenge grant recipients as part of the association’s initiative to highlight and support efforts that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business.

The Collaboration Challenge grants promote broadband-enabled solutions for communities and support collaborative efforts in economic development, education, energy, health care and public safety.

The SRC Collaboration Challenge grant recipients are:

  • NEX-TECH (Lenora, Kan.) received a grant to support technology for a 10-shop educational model economy for middle school students.
  • STAR COMMUNICATIONS (Clinton, N.C.) received a grant to support a Wi-Fi network for a volunteer emergency medical services and rescue company.
  • NELSON COMMUNICATIONS (Durand, Wis.) received a grant for a pilot program that will provide broadband-enabled elder care services.
  • LIVCOM (Livingston, Texas) received a grant to support community-based Wi-Fi access points for students in an area where 27% of families live below the poverty line.

The goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is to promote and encourage the development of innovative broadband solutions and access to next-generation applications for distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security. Smart Rural Community provides educational programming, matching grant resources and an award program to recognize top-performing communities.

For more information about the initiative, visit

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