Wilkes Communications has been named a Smart Rural Community Provider℠ by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association (NTCA). Smart Rural Communities℠ is a national network of communities powered by innovative rural broadband providers that are building a brighter future for small town America. The program promotes rural broadband and its role in supporting innovative economic development; effective education; efficient energy distribution and use; state-of-the-art healthcare and other important issues for rural America.
What Is Smart Rural Community?®
Smart Rural Community is an initiative of NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association. Smart Rural Community comprises programming relating to and promoting rural broadband networks and their broadband-enabled applications that communities can leverage to foster innovative economic development, commerce, education, health care, government services, public safety and security and more efficient energy distribution and use. Smart Rural Community hosts educational events for communications and non-communications professionals, including government policy-makers; administers an award program that invites and reviews applications of rural broadband providers for certification and recognition; and provides resources to rural broadband providers to assist their achievement of goals promoted by Smart Rural Community. Smart Rural Community also publishes original research and white papers that investigate issues relating to rural broadband deployment, adoption and use.
What Makes a Rural Community “Smart?”
What makes a rural community “smart?” A dynamic suite of broadband-enabled solutions that builds community strength and enables global competition.
Fundamentally, a smart rural community uses broadband networks to enable applications that the community can leverage for innovative economic development and commerce, blue-ribbon education, first-rate health care, cutting-edge government services, robust security and more efficient energy distribution and use.
Broadband facilitates greater interconnection of the community’s resources and can prepare and enable citizens’ participation in the global economy.
A smart rural community relies not only on high-capacity broadband connections, but also on teams of highly motivated and collaborative leaders—the people behind the technology. From manufacturers and application developers to telecommunications providers and, ultimately, the users who adopt and employ broadband-enabled services, it takes a lot of people to create a smart rural community, and encourage its continued development and evolution.
A smart rural community should strive to create next-generation applications and platforms, such as the examples below:
- Interactive, collaborative and customized learning environments that engage today’s students and appeal to their unique learning styles and needs.
- Dynamic health care infrastructure that facilitates health information technology (HIT) applications such as electronic scheduling, “store and forward” technologies and remote patient monitoring services.
- Connectivity that allows farmers to access real-time weather reports and other information to improve decision-making, reach new markets, and enable the next-generation of precision farming.
- A platform to connect stakeholders with federal, state and local government resources and enable users to conduct government transactions online.
- A next-generation 911 alerting system that communicates with the public using multimedia, and an interoperable LTE wireless network that allows first responders to communicate more quickly and effectively with one another during emergencies.
- Modern utility networks — such as energy, transportation, water and waste – that provide the utility operator with remote insight into the network’s operations, and the consumer with real-time information and control over his utility use and expenditures
- A smart home network that enables energy efficiency, communication and appliance automation.
About NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association
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 members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business.Learn More Here