ABBEVILLE, SC - West Carolina Rural Telephone Cooperative, Inc. (WCTEL) is one of 13 rural communications firms nationwide to be honored with the title Smart Rural Community by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, which cited WCTEL’s advanced communications services and collaboration with local leaders in agriculture, health care, public safety and education as keys to its success.
At a gathering of more than 1,000 leaders of rural telecommunications providers hosted by NTCA, WCTEL was honored with an award for deploying advanced technologies and leveraging those technologies to enable innovation in the areas of economic development and commerce, education, enhanced health care, government services, security and energy use. WCTEL’s efforts were judged against those of dozens of other communities nationwide by a panel of experts from the fields of telecommunications, software and technology services, education, health care and economic development.
In addition to WCTEL, 12 other providers and their communities in Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada, also were recognized.
“WCTEL is a prime example of the power of a broadband connection and a steadfast commitment to growth and prosperity,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Not only are the people of WCTEL charting their own path to a more prosperous future, they are also creating a road map for many more communities across the country to follow suit. I commend the people of WCTEL for these extraordinary efforts.”
The NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative recognizes and celebrates the efforts of rural telecommunications providers and their communities to deliver technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. The goal of the initiative is to foster the development of Smart Rural Communities throughout rural America by recognizing trailblazers and providing resources to assist broadband providers and connected industries.
“We are pleased and excited to accept this award,” said Wes McAllister, WCTEL Board President, who received the award on behalf of WCTEL. “We have worked hard with our local leaders to ensure that our citizens have access to advanced communications and the many benefits those services enable. We look forward to building on our success for many years to come.”