(StatePoint) Fast Internet service is not just an indulgence that people want. It’s something communities need in order to stay vibrant in today’s economy — from students doing research and small businesses selling their products to doctors having the latest information at their fingertips.
And experts say that soon, more rural communities are going to have access to the speedy services that metropolitan areas have long enjoyed, thanks to huge, recent innovations in the field.
“Considering the unique and challenging circumstances small, community-based telecommunications providers operate under, delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds to the country’s most rural and remote communities is a huge accomplishment, says Shirley Bloomfield, chief executive officer of the NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, which represents nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies.
With those challenges in mind, NTCA recently recognized telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second (100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households), by naming these companies Certified Gig-Capable Providers at a recent conference.
To achieve certification, telecommunications companies must show that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95 percent of one or more exchanges within their serving territory and that such service can be provided without new trenching or without stringing new aerial facilities. For more information about the NTCA Gig-Capable Provider certification program, visit www.ntca.org/gigcertified.
“By building a gigabit-capable network, these companies have not only overcome huge hurdles, but they’ve also shattered conventional benchmarks for broadband speed,” says Bloomfield. “This access will drive economic development and strengthen communities nationwide.”