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Kansas Profile – Now That’s Rural: Jason Smith, Smart Rural Communities
Kansas Ag Connection - 11/30/2023

It is one thing to be a rural community. It’s another to be a Smart Rural Community.

The designation -- “Smart Rural Community” -- was created by a national association to recognize rural telecommunication companies that are providing superior broadband service in their areas. And many of those are found in Kansas.

Last week we met Jason Smith, general manager and CEO of Rainbow Communications in Everest, Kansas. In 2015, Rainbow Communications was one of 10 rural telecomm companies across the nation to earn the Smart Rural Communities Showcase Award.

The award is presented to those rural telecommunications companies that demonstrate superior broadband service in the regions they serve. The Smart Rural Communities designation has now been broadened to include any community that is served by a telecomm company that meets certain high standards.

This is a project of NTCA, the national rural broadband association. NTCA works on behalf of more than 850 small independent businesses and cooperatives that provide broadband service in rural communities. These businesses cover approximately one-third of the nation’s land mass.

NTCA’s “Smart Communities” is a designation earned by those telecomm companies that have invested in fiber broadband most aggressively and effectively to serve their residents. There are smart community categories for tribal and suburban communities, but NTCA describes the Smart Rural Communities as its “flagship brand.”







Source: k-state.edu


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