Fergus Falls Receives National Recognition as Smart Rural Community

As promised, here is more information on one of the two Minnesota Smart Rural Communities…

Park Region Telephone and Otter Tail Telcom honored for delivering broadband-enabled solutions in Economic Development and Telework

Tuesday, September 17, 2013, Park Region Telephone & Otter Tail Telcom, MN—Fergus Falls is one of seven communities nationwide to be honored with the title Smart Rural Community by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, which cited Fergus Falls advanced communications services and collaboration with local leaders in Economic Development and Telework as keys to its success.

At a gathering of more than 1,000 leaders of rural telecommunications providers hosted by NTCA, Fergus Falls was honored with an award for deploying advanced technologies and leveraging those technologies to enable innovation in the areas of economic development and commerce, education, enhanced health care, government services, security and energy use. Fergus Falls efforts were judged against those of dozens of other communities nationwide by a panel of experts from the fields of telecommunications, software and technology services, education, health care and finance.

In addition to Fergus Falls, seven other communities in Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota, Florida and Indiana also were recognized.

“Fergus Falls is prime example of the power of a broadband connection and a steadfast commitment to growth and prosperity,” said NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield. “Not only are the people of Fergus Falls charting their own path to a more prosperous future, they are also creating a road map for many more communities across the country to follow suit. I commend the people of Fergus Falls for these extraordinary efforts.”

The NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative recognizes and celebrates the efforts of rural telecommunications providers and their communities to deliver technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. The goal of the initiative is to foster the development of Smart Rural Communities throughout rural America by recognizing trailblazers and providing resources to assist broadband providers and connected industries.

“We are pleased and excited to accept this award,” said Park Region Telephone and Otter Tail Telcom CEO Dave Bickett.  “We have worked hard with our local leaders to ensure that our area residents in all our service areas have access to advanced communications and the many benefits those services enable.   The Telework Initiative, done in cooperation with the Fergus Falls Economic Improvement Commission, is simply one example of the potential offered by advanced communications. We look forward to building on our cooperative success for many years to come.”

This entry was posted in economic development, MN, Rural, Vendors by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

I have a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science. I have been interested or involved in providing access to information through the Internet since 1994, when I worked for Minnesota’s first Internet service provider. I am pleased to be a part of the Blandin on Broadband Team. I also work with MN Coalition on Government Information, Minnesota Rural Partners, and the American Society for Information Science and Technology.

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