- 00:13 – A Smart Community Ecosystem that cares and shares
- 00:50 – SRC members are about the art of the possible
- 02:25 – Boiling it down, it is about kindness
- 03:54 – SRC is a national brand that differentiates a communications provider
“What we are trying to do here at this meeting [SRC Live] is to connect all the dots,” explains NTCA CEO, Shirley Bloomfield, in the above video. SRC Live is about communications, collaboration, and sharing best practices between NTCA Smart Community members. It is about learning how to maximize the value of the fiber networks that already have been deployed.
It reflects the excitement expressed earlier this year by Paul Bunyan’s Gary Johnson, about the seemingly endless growth possibilities that an all-fiber network enables. As Bloomfield points out, a fiber network is at the center of an ecosystem that requires security, applications, and community outreach.
SRC Live’s agenda and showcase encompassed the fiber ecosystem. Topics covered included telehealth, remote workforce opportunities, and ag tech. Reflecting the maturity of the NTCA Smart Community networks (many have been 100% fiber to the home for well over a decade), there were also presentations on important, but difficult topics, such as protection for domestic violence victims.
Bloomfield also recounts her experience representing NTCA members at Monday’s White House announcement regarding BEAD funding allocations. There are sure to be many new and inexperienced players vying for this money as it makes its way through to the States. Having an edge will be important in standing out among the many expected applicants.
One of the competitive advantages for NTCA’s members is that they are established and trusted providers that are part of the community. They work with other local organizations to help improve the lives of the people they serve. As Julie Bergman of Rainbow Communications, a Kansas-based Broadband Service Provider, said, “It’s about an element of kindness,” referring to how they do business. It is about neighbors helping neighbors.
The Smart Community brand reflects that NTCA member ethos. With three distinct logos (Smart Rural Community, Smart Connected Community, & Smart Tribal Community), the Smart Community brand works for any service area an operator might cover. As was shown in multiple presentations throughout SRC Live, municipalities embrace the Smart Community designations, whether on a road sign or a billboard.
The upshot is that Smart Community membership provides external validation that an operator has a future-proof network and approach. This recognition is sure to be helpful for government officials analyzing BEAD grants. As importantly, and as will be seen in future interviews filmed at SRC Live, it is increasingly valuable for people wanting to know their broadband options when moving to a new community.