Press Release

April 02, 2015 — STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–America’s Best Communities Competition today announced that The Weather Channel is joining Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank as a sponsor of the America’s Best Communities competition, a $10 million competition to revitalize small towns and rural communities.

Conceived by Frontier Communications and co-sponsored by DISH Network and CoBank, The Weather Channel now joins the America’s Best Communities team to support and jumpstart development and investment in small cities and rural towns across Frontier’s 27-state footprint. After the competition was launched on Sept. 10, 2014, communities across the country are dreaming big and submitting their best ideas to accelerate the revival of their local economies and foster sustained growth.

On April 29, 2015, America’s Best Communities will announce the 50 community quarterfinalists in the contest. Each community will receive $50,000 to develop a comprehensive Community Revitalization Plan and will be partnered with a large corporation who will help them with their plans. The community best able to envision and implement their revitalization plans will be awarded $3 million.

Frontier Communications CEO Maggie Wilderotter said, “As the largest broadband communications company focused on serving rural America, we launched the America’s Best Communities competition to serve as a catalyst for economic revitalization in the small towns and cities across our footprint. The Weather Channel, our newest partner, is intimately familiar with our nation’s small towns and is committed to serving these communities. The Weather Channel teams visit countless rural communities across the country to inform, educate, and help them prepare for and recover from life-changing weather events. This commitment to the hardworking men and women of rural America runs deep, and we are excited to welcome the Weather Channel as a new sponsor of the contest.”

“The Weather Channel recognizes the critical role our nation’s small towns and rural communities play in the economic health and well-being of our country. We welcome this opportunity to join with like-minded companies to offer support and investment that will stimulate economic recovery,” said David Kenny, Chairman and CEO of The Weather Company. “We know from our experience over the years with live and localized coverage that a thriving local community is an essential ingredient for success and we look forward to partnering with Frontier Communications, DISH Network and CoBank in the ABC Prize competition and contributing to the economic revival of rural America.”

“At CoBank, we believe the strength, security and economic well-being of our entire nation are dependent upon a strong rural America,” said CoBank CEO Bob Engel. “America’s Best Communities will ramp up rural America’s economic vitality for years to come. We’re excited to partner with The Weather Channel to advance the growth and development of rural communities.”

America’s Best Communities, a multi-stage, three-year competition, will provide $4 million in seed money and other support to assist communities as they develop their revitalization plans. The top three communities will receive a total of $6 million in prize money. The contest’s deadline for applications was March 25. After an independent group of expert judges reviews the applications received, 50 quarterfinalists will be announced on April 29, 2015.

The 50 quarterfinalist communities will have six months to refine, sharpen and submit their comprehensive plans to be considered for additional investment. All 50 quarterfinalists will have a large sponsor company that will help them improve their plans and with implementation. In early 2016, 15 semifinalists will then be selected to attend the America’s Best Communities summit to present their strategies, with eight finalists then awarded $100,000 to continue implementation of their plans.

In April 2017, America’s Best Communities will name its three competition winners — those with the most innovative proposals being effectively implemented. The winning community will be awarded $3 million, with $2 million for second place and $1 million for third.

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