Frontier Communications and Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH) have developed a new $10 million partnership set on driving growth and revitalization in rural towns and cities within the telco's 27-state territory.
The two companies said the Americas Best Communities contest will help address the need for growth by identifying and investing in innovative ideas that small cities and towns can use to build and sustain their local economies.
All of the winning ideas will then become part of a roadmap for growth for all U.S. rural communities that have faced economic hardships in recent years.
"This contest is designed to challenge a community's brightest and most innovative thinkers to develop meaningful strategies and plans that will transform their town or city," said Maggie Wilderotter, chairwoman and CEO of Frontier Communications, in a release. "Whether ideas come from an individual or a group, visionaries in a community can effect powerful transformations."
As a multi-stage, three-year contest, America's Best Communities will provide $4 million in seed money and other related support to help communities in creating revitalization plans and growth strategies. The three top communities will get a total of $6 million.
Communities that have populations of 9,500 to 80,000 located within Frontier's service areas are eligible to apply. Meanwhile, communities with populations under 9,500 are encouraged to collaborate with adjacent communities to become eligible.
Eligible communities have to apply by Jan. 12, 2015, to qualify. From there, a panel of judges will select up to 50 qualified applicants in February 2015, each of which will be awarded $35,000 to develop their plans and proposals. These communities will then have seven months to refine and submit their final proposals in September 2015.
In November 2015, up to 15 semifinalists will be selected, and will attend America's Best Communities summit in January 2016 to present their proposals. In early 2016, eight finalists will be selected and will be awarded $100,000 each. The prize money awarded to the eight finalists will be used to implement the communities' plans and implement them, while sharing what worked with other communities.
- see the release
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