North Central Telephone Cooperative (NCTC) recently completed construction of more than 1,000 miles of Fiber To The Home (FTTH) facilities making broadband service available to approximately 14,000 households, 951 businesses, and 48 strategic institutions. Headquartered in rural Macon County, NCTC partnered with USDA Rural Development to invest more than $78 million into the Upper Cumberland region that not only brought jobs and revenue to an area plagued by persistent poverty and unemployment, it is giving local residents access to modern electronic and technological services that many of us take for granted.
The fiber network has allowed Macon County General Hospital access to Tri-Star Health and Vanderbilt University Medical Center services via telemedicine from their emergency room. This means that a specialist may view a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) or X-Ray in a matter of seconds rather than minutes, days or requiring the 60-mile transport to Nashville.
The North Central Ethernet connection is opening the world to area students thanks to online streaming videos and distance learning opportunities now available. It made it possible for 300 Westmoreland High School students to take state-mandated tests online at the same time – something that was impossible previously.
NCTC’s commitment to the communities it serves has been recognized nationally when it was one of only 13 companies in the nation that received the 2014 Smart Rural Community Showcase Award. The availability of broadband service is as necessary as electricity in today’s business environment. Fast, dependable broadband connections help local businesses compete, students learn, and families thrive whether it is offering online banking, streaming video of a mule auction, taking an online class, or booking that much-needed vacation.
For more information on USDA Rural Development programs available in Tennessee visit us online at www.rd.usda.gov/TN.