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NTCA Smart Rural Community Initiative


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presentation to the Minnesota Telecom Alliance Conference Oct 2013

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NTCA Smart Rural Community Initiative

  1. 1. The NTCA Smart Rural Community Initiative Minnesota Telecom Alliance Fall Conference October 10-11, 2013
  2. 2. Outline: • NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association • Third Party Outreach: Rural Solidarity • Smart Rural Community (SRC) Initiative • Recognizing & Building Smart Rural Communities
  3. 3. • Trade association, represents 900 small, rural communications providers. • Provide reliable broadband, voice and data communications services in hardest-to-serve corners of the country. • Serve 5% of the nation’s subscribers across 40% of the nation’s land mass. • Besides telephone service, also provide video, wireless services, home security, computer repair, data storage. • Members work with community anchor institutions, partners.
  4. 4. Challenges to Rural Broadband Advocacy, Providers and Consumers • “Your fault for living there” mentality (Politics) • Disconnect between urban and rural relevance for consumers (Cultural Disconnect) • Regulatory Uncertainty: Universal Service Fund Reform (Regulation)
  5. 5. “Why don’t you just move to a big city?” • Politics: ▫ Washington: Urban-centric mentality, have to fight for rural relevance  40% of our nation’s military comes from rural America  Natural resources: fuel, water  Food  Manufacturing  Urban areas rely on exurban and rural areas for environmental quality, recreation and tourism.
  6. 6. Economic Impact: Urban-Rural Connection
  7. 7. Economic Impact: Urban-Rural Connection (Contd)
  8. 8. “Most Americans could care less if farming and ranching disappear, so long as they get their burgers and fries.” - The End of the American Farm
  9. 9. Third Party Outreach: Rural Solidarity • Challenge: Political & Cultural Disconnect from Rural • National and local strategic outreach: agriculture, public safety, health care, education, utilities, small business • Tied together: reliance on broadband.
  10. 10. Outreach Strategies • Advocate stronger national & local rural collaboration • Identify and join strategic coalitions ▫ Organizations Concerned about Rural Education (OCRE) ▫ Joint letters with third parties • Organize summits ▫ Broadband Adoption Summit ▫ Smart Rural Communities Summit
  11. 11. Examples Third Party Contacts • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • AARP American Farm Bureau Federation American Library Association American Telemedicine Association APCO International Appalachian Regional Commission Association of Public Land-Grant Universities Community Action Partnership Delta Regional Authority Discovery Education Farm Equipment Manufacturers Association Housing Assistance Council IBM Independent Community Bankers of America National Association of Counties National Association of Development Organizations National Education Association National Farmers Union • National Grange • National Rural Electric Cooperative Association • National Rural Economic Developers Association • National Rural Health Association • North American Equipment Dealers Association • Rural Community Assistance Partnership • Rural School and Community Trust • Southern Rural Development Center • U.S. Chamber of Commerce • U.S. Department of Agriculture • U.S. Department of Commerce • U.S. Department Of Health & Human Services • U.S. Department of Vet Affairs • White House Rural Council
  12. 12. Smart Rural Communities Summit April 2012: NTCA convenes 50+ leaders from government and “vertical industries” of education, agriculture, health care, public safety Releases white paper exploring Smart Rural Community concept
  13. 13. = ?
  14. 14. What is a Smart Rural Community? A Smart Rural Community invokes broadbandenabled intelligent networks to support innovative applications for ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ ▫ Education Health care Utilities Public safety Agriculture Economic development
  15. 15. A Smart Rural Community – more than the broadband connection A Smart Rural Community embraces teams of collaborative leaders standing behind and promoting the technology. From manufacturers and application developers to telecommunications providers and, ultimately, the users who adopt and employ broadband-enabled services, the Smart Rural Community is a team effort of continuing development and evolution
  16. 16. What would Health Care look like in a Smart Rural Community?
  17. 17. Health Care • Barriers to Quality Health Care in Rural America ▫ More chronic conditions (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, etc.) ▫ Rising health care costs ▫ Physician shortage • Broadband Answer ▫ More efficient health care service. ▫ Greater integration of patient information. ▫ Enables more entities to access patients’ prior health history and coordinate care more effectively.
  18. 18. SRC Health Care: Real World Example • Nex-Tech & Smith County Memorial Hospital, Smith Center, Kan. ▫ Telemedicine and health information technology (HIT) require high-speed broadband. ▫ Next-Tech provides broadband services to 11 hospitals and 14 rural clinics. ▫ Using a broadband connection provided by Nex-Tech, Smith County Memorial Hospital communicates with specialists at larger regional hospitals to enable remote medical diagnostics and monitoring.
  19. 19. What would Education look like in a Smart Rural Community?
  20. 20. Education • Barriers to Quality Education in Rural America: ▫ Scarcity of capable math and science teachers. ▫ Geographically unbalanced distribution of K-12 teachers. ▫ 40% of U.S. public school districts require online learning resources. ▫ Especially affects AP, special ed, foreign language. • Broadband Answer: ▫ Instruction via broadband can give schools that are lacking these resources a chance to be on equal footing as their more urban or well-equipped counterparts.
  21. 21. SRC Ed: Real World Example • Halstad Telephone Co. (HTC) in Halstad, M.N. ▫ HTC part of consortium rural telecom providers, connects 126 schools and 43 libraries in MN. ▫ HTC network allows students to take courses not available to them: AP, foreign language, special education. ▫ HTC provided Discovery Education service to its 4 K-12 schools.
  22. 22. Additional SRC Applications • Agriculture: Broadband enables farmers to increase the efficiency of their production by reducing costs, increasing productivity and allowing them to tap into new markets. • Utilities: In the form of Smart Grid technology, broadband and IP Connectivity helps create a more efficient and responsive network for the generation/transmission/distribution/consumption of power. • Government Services: Governments can more easily interact with citizens online to distribute information, conduct transactions, enable collaboration between agencies, etc. • Public Safety: Broadband can enable public safety managers to track police/fire resources, have medical responders access patient EHRs and transmit real-time biometric readings, police to have access to criminal databases and on-site video surveillance, etc.
  23. 23. The Message • The vitality of any community is dependent on access to quality health care, education, public safety, and economic opportunities. • Rural communities in particular face unique access challenges. • Broadband reduces challenges by providing rural communities with quality, cost-effective opportunities access to new technologies, gain new skills and reach new markets.
  24. 24. 24 Building Smart Rural Communities • Advisory Committee: recruiting expertise • NTCA member voices in the process • Expanding the circle of expertise
  25. 25. 25 SRC Advisory Committee NTCA Associate Member Advisory Council National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (Chair) National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative NTCA Innovation & Technology Committee Rural School and Community Trust (Chairs) TCA American Farm Bureau Federation Veterans Health Administration's Office of Rural American Telemedicine Association (ATA) Health Calix CHR Solutions Dickey Rural Networks Discovery Education National Information Solutions Cooperative National Rural Economic Developers Association
  26. 26. 26 Recognizing Smart Rural Communities • Smart Rural Communities have been built • Providing a vehicle to inform, educate and inspire • Expert peer review
  27. 27. 27 SRC Showcase – Phase I
  28. 28. 28 Showcasing the Best and Brightest • Showcase and Paradigm Program • Nominations accepted June 17 – July 31 • Announcements at NTCA Fall Conference, September 2013
  29. 29. 29 EXTRA! Showcase/Paradigm News • Nearly two-dozen applicants • Highlighted industries: education; health care; national security • Review and scoring by Advisory Committee
  30. 30. And the award goes to…
  31. 31. 31 Showcase and Paradigm Awards 1. Blue Valley Tele-Communications, Inc. (Home, Kan.) 2. DRN (Ellendale, N.D.) 3. ITS Telecom (Indiantown, Fla.) 4. Mutual Telephone Company (Little River, Kan.) 5. Nex-Tech Inc. (Hays, Kan.) 6. Park Region Telephone/Otter Tail Telcom (Underwood, Minn.) 7. West Central Telephone Association (Sebeka, Minn.)
  32. 32. 32 SRC Trailblazers • Adams Telephone Co-Operative (Golden, Ill.) • BEK Communications (Steele, N.D.) • Big Bend Telephone Co. (Alpine, Texas) • Burke's Garden Telephone Co. (Tazewell, Va.) • Consolidated Telephone Co. (Brainerd, Minn.) • Farmers Mutual Telephone Co. (Bellingham, Minn.)
  33. 33. 33 SRC Trailblazers • Gardonville Cooperative Telephone Association (Brandon, Minn.) • Midstate Communications Inc. (Kimball, S.D.) • Perry Spencer Rural Telephone Cooperative Inc. (St. Meinrad, Ind.) • Scott County Telephone Cooperative (Gate City, Va.) • Spring Grove Communications (Spring Grove, Minn.) • Wilkes Telecommunications (Wilkesboro, N.C.) • Nex-Tech Inc. (Norton, Kan.)
  34. 34. 34 Major scoring criteria/Telling the Smart Story • Use of broadband in meeting needs of major industries, including commercial, government, and not-for-profit • Recruitment, retention, and expansion of commercial, government, and not-for profit industries • Economic and societal impacts • Efforts for the future • Collaboration with local leaders
  35. 35. 35 SRC Pilot – Phase II
  36. 36. 36 “We’ve only just begun . . .” • The goal is to build • Showcasing and mentoring • The network of ideas • Pilots
  37. 37. 37 Contact or