Broadband internet access is making a real difference in the lives of people across rural America. I see

it whenever I travel to the states where telecommunications companies like this one are building advanced networks to reach those in hard-to-serve regions.

Broadband supports efforts that are vital to a community’s well-being, such as economic development, education and small-business growth. But broad- band’s greatest impact is perhaps seen in the delivery of health care.

Robust and sustainable broadband infrastructure is necessary for expanding access to health care in rural America.

NTCA has been looking into telehealth applications for a number of years. We have hosted events on our own. We have worked with health care groups to learn about their challenges and to introduce them to our member telcos’ capabili- ties. We have assisted our members in launching pilot projects of their own.

Telemedicine in rural America is truly a win-win proposition. Access to advanced services in a local community brings greater health care options to its residents. As a bonus, telemedicine also makes it easier to attract high-skilled labor, industry and economic develop-

ment. NTCA is passionate about the role that our member telcos play in tele- medicine — and I think we have only scratched the surface of possibilities.

Your local telecommunications provider, like hundreds of similar companies across rural America, is building the advanced broadband network that makes telemedicine possible.

By Shriley Bloomfields, CEO
NCTCA – The Ruual Broadband Assocaiation

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