San Antonio, TX, June 12, 2017 — Several leading rural infrastructure groups today announced a joint campaign to help promote collaboration and strategic partnerships in deploying and operating broadband networks in unserved parts of rural America. The “Partners in Broadband” campaign, officially launched during the 2017 CFC Forum, focuses on creating alliances through a website that looks to connect those interested in delivering robust broadband to unserved rural communities with nearby partners that share a community commitment and have expertise in broadband network deployment and operation.

NTCA – The Rural Broadband Association, the National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC), NRTC and National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corp. (CFC) developed the new site, available at www.PartnersInBroadband.com, and will promote it to their respective customers and members, representing more than 1,500 community-based broadband and electric service providers in 49 states. The site seeks to create greater recognition that broadband is an essential tool for many individuals, businesses, and anchor institutions and that making robust and affordable services available and sustainable in rural communities is a challenge requiring resolve, resourcefulness, industry expertise and a special commitment to community. By filling out a simple online form, electric cooperatives, utilities and municipalities will be matched with nearby partners with telecom expertise to evaluate options to address the broadband gap and promote partnerships wherever possible.

“NTCA members have an unparalleled track record in deploying and sustaining state-of-the-art, advanced communications infrastructure in the most rural, hard-to-reach areas of the country,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Shirley Bloomfield. “But not all rural communities are lucky enough to be served by a rural telco. Millions of Americans in these other areas have limited or even no access to the broadband they need, and we believe we can do better by these Americans by working together with committed partners based in their communities.”

“NISC has operated in both the electric and telecommunications industry for the past 50 years. We recognize the data requirements of today’s modern utility is transforming how they operate and how their end-users live and work,” said NISC Vice President of Member & Industry Jasper Schneider. “We believe that the experience of our national partners and the expertise of our many Members can be powerful partners in providing broadband to the remaining underserved areas.”

“NRTC’s members — electric, telephone and telecommunications cooperatives and companies — have a rich history of bringing the best technology solutions to the communities they proudly serve,” said Tim Bryan, CEO of NRTC. “In the more sparsely populated parts of our country, it often takes partnerships to make this happen, especially when it comes to broadband. NRTC is proud to work with our allied national organizations to make this website available to facilitate collaboration and additional broadband deployment, and we look forward to helping our members fully utilize this valuable tool.”

“As the former administrator of the Rural Utilities Service, where I worked closely with both electric and telecom cooperatives, I understand their commitment to rural communities,” said Hilda Legg. “I am delighted that NTCA, NRTC and NISC have joined together to address some of the most critical and difficult to solve problems of keeping rural communities economically vibrant by facilitating the deployment of true high-speed broadband to rural residents.”

The website and fillable form can be found at www.PartnersInBroadband.com.

About NTCA
NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use.

Visit us at www.ntca.org.

About NISC
National Information Solutions Cooperative (NISC) is an information technology organization that develops, implements and supports software and hardware solutions for our Members/Customers. We deliver advanced solutions, services and support to more than 800 independent telephone companies, electric cooperatives and other public power entities. NISC is an industry leader providing information technology solutions including billing, accounting, operations, automated mailroom services, third-party integration as well as many other solutions. With facilities in Mandan, N.D., Lake Saint Louis, Mo., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Shawano, Wis., NISC and its subsidiaries employ more than 1,100 professionals between the four locations.

Additional information can be found at www.nisc.coop.

About NRTC
We are Member Driven and Technology Focused. NRTC provides solutions that help our 1,500 electric and telephone members bring all of the advantages of today’s evolving technology to rural America.
NRTC’s products and services are developed specifically to meet the needs of rural utilities and their customers, and include integrated smart grid and utility solutions, advanced energy, broadband infrastructure and managed network services, wireless technologies and programming distribution capabilities for video providers. NRTC helps ensure our members’ success by aggregating their individual buying power, negotiating national contracts and helping members integrate technology solutions with existing infrastructure.

Additional information can be found at www.nrtc.coop.

About CFC
Created and owned by America’s electric cooperative network, the National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation (CFC)—a nonprofit finance cooperative with approximately $24 billion in assets—provides unparalleled industry expertise, flexibility and responsiveness to serve the needs of our member-owners. CFC is an equal opportunity provider.

Visit us online at www.nrucfc.coop.

For more information, please contact:
Laura Withers
lwithers@ntca.org 703.531.2087