NITCO beats out government rural broadband mandate

While policy leaders and large service providers theorize how they are going to expand broadband availability, Northwestern Indiana Telephone Co. is already on track to bring broadband services to 100 percent of its customers within a year, beating out the U.S. government's mandate by three years.

Arguably an ambitious initiative, the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 made it a national priority to expand broadband access and adoption in U.S. rural communities by 2014 with combined upload and download speed of 5 Mbps.

Bear in mind that NITCO is a small independent phone company whose total territory consists of about 12,000 residences and businesses across 281 square miles, and that has the nimbleness to fulfill its mission. Other small operators could look to NITCO as a case study on how to expand their own broadband service footprints.      

"NITCO will perform the needed infrastructure and technological improvements on its own to increase its customers' high-speed broadband services in a much quicker time frame than imposed by the federal government," said NITCO Chairman and CEO Rhys Mussman in a release. "We will be working diligently to utilize the latest versions of DSL, fiber, and WiMAX technologies to achieve and exceed these upload and download speed standards."

For more:
- see the release here

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