How much do I love NTCA’s Smart Rural Community initiative? More than I can clearly articulate! The idea of a program that is designed to celebrate not only the broadband that has been built to a rural community, but even more importantly, how that community is using that broadband to do amazing things in the arenas of jobs, economic development, public safety, education and healthcare, is really energizing.
The application process for the next round of Smart Rural Community designations just opened again for consideration and I really encourage anyone who has not looked into this program that NTCA administers to do so. If you are a current NTCA member working tirelessly to promote rural broadband networks and broadband-enabled applications in your community, it’s time to ‘strut your stuff’ with our SRC Showcase awards. Celebrating those who drive innovation is a priority for your association and winners will be announced at our Fall Conference in fabulous Philly this September.
I note that Smart Rural Community designation is more than a fashion statement, but I will not lie, I have loved the fun SRC goodies that have come my way from recipients….my office looks like its’ own SRC commnunity. I have road signs, truck decals, labeled cups, sweatershirts, jackets and t-shirts that all celebrate the spirit of NTCA members and their pride in being the innovative driver for their rural communities. I often get questions from my neighbors on my SRC labeling as Cassie and I cruise the neighborhood on our evening walks. I laugh everytime I hear someone talk about “Smart Cities” because Smart Rural Communities were out of the box well before cities really took the effort to think about the role that broadband could play in being the “brains” behind the economic success of their communities.
All to point to another reason why broadband needs to be driver in any infrastructure package considered by Congress or this Administration.