By Keith Gabbard
Chief Executive Officer
Our culture is fascinated with potential. We talk about athletes at the high school level having great potential, with hopeful futures at the college and pro levels. We talk about friends having the potential to be successful in business, education or the arts.
When we view something as having potential, we believe that within it lies the power for it to become greater than what it is now, to accomplish good things and impact lives in a positive way.
I can’t think of a better description for the broadband network we are building today.
At PRTC, we’re nearly finished with our state-of-the-art fiber network. The project has brought more than $50 million into the local economy. A portion of the money, $17.5 million, was a grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The network is truly transforming our region and preparing us with a new technology that’s future-proof.
But that is just the beginning of the story. The most important feature of our broadband network is the potential it holds. Studies have shown that when people put broadband to work in their homes and communities, some exciting things happen:
- Household incomes rise
- Job opportunities increase
- Poverty levels and unemployment drop
The potential is there — but the key to unlocking that potential is you. Some of our customers are doing an outstanding job in this area:
Phoenix Products is communicating with customers and suppliers across the globe to make products for the military and outdoor enthusiasts.
Teleworks USA has recently partnered with local and national agencies to start a free job-training program for area residents to begin jobs working from home.
In 2014, PRTC was awarded the prestigious honor of being named a Smart Rural Community by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. NTCA developed the award as a way to recognize cooperatives that are promoting and using broadband networks to foster innovative economic development, education, health care and government services.
The network we are building today allows you to take advantage of today’s technology. But here’s the most exciting thing: Where the true power lies is in our network’s ability to adapt to new technologies as they become available, freeing you to explore new ways to put broadband to work. You have the tools to reinvent how you live, work and play.
So go innovate. Go learn. Go imagine new ways to use the technology we are blessed with in this region. Put it to work to change your community, your family, your business. Then be sure to share your story with us. Like those I mentioned above, your story may inspire someone else to unlock the potential of broadband, while discovering the potential inside themselves.