Why do you live in rural America? Maybe it’s family connections. Maybe it’s the close sense of community and the importance of tradition. Maybe it’s because you enjoy a quality of life in this area that would be difficult to find in a metro region.
Whatever your reasons, the people who work at PRTC understand that we play an important role in helping you build the life you want here. As your local telecommunications provider, we know you depend on us to supply the technology you need to stay connected. And that is becoming more important as our world grows increasingly dependent on broadband connections and Internet-based solutions.
Some might think that living in a rural area means sacrificing access to technology. We are proud that, as a member of PRTC, you do not have to sacrifice at all. In fact, because of our focus on building a state-of-the-art network, you have access to Internet speeds higher than those available to some people living in larger cities.
The results have been rewarding. Not only are we impacting lives, but your cooperative has received national recognition for these efforts. As you read in the previous issue, we are the recipient of a national Smart Rural Community award. On Pages 8-9 of this issue you will find the full story of that award, including our visit to the White House to talk about our work to bring fiber technology to the region. You’ll also see examples of the relationships we’ve built that helped earn us the recognition.
Throughout the year you will see feature stories that shine a spotlight on the impact a robust broadband network can have on a community. These will be marked by the Smart Rural Community logo.
Of course, we still have many challenges. While just over 19 percent of the U.S. population lives in a rural region, almost half of Americans who are not connected to the Internet are rural. That means there are still millions of rural Americans who are missing opportunities made possible by a broadband connection. From education and jobs to health care and family connections, they have yet to discover what so many of their neighbors have already learned — that a broadband connection can help them build a better life.
That is one of our biggest challenges as your technology leader. Building a broadband network is only the first step; we must also help you understand how to use it. The magazine you are reading now plays an important role in those efforts. We choose the stories for this magazine very carefully. We include subjects that appeal to a broad range of readers with a variety of interests. We can almost guarantee that during the course of a year you will be drawn to something in these pages, no matter what your interests may be. And whether it’s a profile on a local person with a unique hobby or business, a story on how someone is using technology, or a feature on a road trip, these have the mission of helping you learn to put our services to practical use in your life.
Living in rural America really is all about being connected. At PRTC we are proud to provide the technology that makes many of those connections possible.