NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association, the premier national association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies, today recognized 13 communities in rural areas of the United States and Canada that have earned the title Smart Rural Community Showcase Award winners as part of the association’s initiative to highlight efforts that make rural hometowns vibrant places in which to live and do business.

The goal of the NTCA Smart Rural Community initiative is to foster the development of smart communities throughout rural America and Canada by recognizing innovators, highlighting innovative implementation of broadband solutions and identifying resources to assist other broadband providers and connected industries. NTCA recognized and awarded communities served by its members that embody the title Smart Rural Community by promoting access to next-generation applications and platforms such as distance learning, telehealth services, public safety and security.

The following broadband providers received international recognition:

• Copper Valley Telecom (Valdez, Alaska)
• Consolidated Telecommunications (Brainerd, Minn.) 
• FTC (Kingstree, S.C.)
• HuronTel (Ripley, Ontario)
• North Central Telephone Cooperative (Lafayette, Tenn.)
• Premier Communications (Sioux Center, Iowa)
• Peoples Rural Telephone Cooperative (McKee, Ky.)
• Solarus (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.)
• Triangle Communications (Havre, Mont.)
• Tri-County Communications Cooperative (Strum, Wis.)
• Twin Valley Telephone Co. (Miltonvale, Kan.)
• Vernon Telephone Cooperative (Westby, Wis.)
• Waitsfield and Champlain Valley Telecom (Waitsfield, Vt.)

NTCA Smart Rural Community award recipients were recognized at a gathering of more than 1,000 rural telecom leaders in San Francisco. In addition to receiving international and local recognition for their extraordinary efforts, the selected Smart Rural Communities will join recipients of prior year awards to formulate “best practices” and assist other rural communities in the implementation of innovative broadband-enabled solutions to drive economic and community strength in rural areas throughout the nation.

For more information about the initiative, visit www.ntca.org/smart.

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NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA advocates on behalf of its members in the legislative and regulatory arenas, and it provides training and development; publications and industry events; and an array of employee benefit programs. In an era of exploding technology, deregulation and marketplace competition, NTCA’s members are leading the IP evolution for rural consumers, delivering technologies that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business. Because of their efforts, rural America is fertile ground for innovation in economic development and commerce, education, health care, government services, security and smart energy use. Visit us at www.ntca.org.

HD Customers can now find Universal HD on Channel 608. 

For a complete listing of our CTCTV channel lineup visit our website.

Thank you

At CTC, we’re on your side!

CTC is in contract discussions with Viacom, the parent company of networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike, VH1, CMT and TV Land. Our existing agreement expires on March 31, 2014 and we feel the rate increase is too great to pass along to our members. Check out our website at ConnectCTC.com and select the link to TVOnMySide.com to stay informed.  Although we are working to negotiate a fair price for these networks after March 31, Viacom may turn off their networks or require us to remove all their channels until a new agreement is secured. CTC will look to credit your account $3 for any loss of these channels should we not reach an agreement with Viacom prior to March 31st. We thank you for your patience while we work towards an agreement for these channels. It is in the best interest of CTC to negotiate a fair price for these channels so we can try to keep our TV programming costs as low as possible. Please continue to check back for updates concerning negotiations.

NCAA March Madness Live, providing sports fans with direct access to all 67 games and more than 150 hours of live streaming coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, will be available today on the Amazon Appstore for Android and Kindle Fire tablets – the first time the app is available on those platforms – along with the previously announced Apple App Store, Google Play and Windows Store. 

As a CTCTV customer you can get access to all the games on the NCAA March Madness Live App. Go to the Watch TV Everywhere website and create an account. Select CTC-Brainerd as your provider, you will also need your CTC account number  www.watchtveverywhere.com/index.php

Once you created the account download the NCAA March Madness Live app to your tablet or smartphone, or visit the website at  www.ncaa.com/march-madness

You’ll need to select your provider CTC-Brainerd on the NCAA March Madness Live app to stream the games. 

Enjoy all the action of this years NCAA Tournament!

The increasing cost of cable TV is a challenge for us all. TV Programmers continually increase our costs to provide TV service to our members. CTC will always strive to keep our costs as low as we can to our members, however we have little control over what we can charge to offer cable TV. TV on My Side is a great resource to learn more about the challenge facing us with cable TV rates. 

www.TVonMySide.com 

TVonMySide.com is your source for up-to-date information and solutions about TV network disputes. This website is a collaborative effort of hundreds of local, independent Cable TV providers located throughout the country in communities like yours. By uniting our companies, we can work together to achieve more flexibility and better offerings for you at the lowest price possible.

CTC is in contract discussions with Viacom, the parent company of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land, Spike and VH1. Our existing agreement expires on March 31, 2014. Although we are diligently working to negotiate a fair price for these networks after March 31, Viacom may require us to remove all their channels until a new agreement is secured. TV Programmers continually increase our costs to provide TV service to our members. CTC will always strive to keep our costs as low as we can to our members

CTC will be performing an upgrade to our Mediaroom TV service.  

CTC TV customers will see a screen pop that says “There is an upgrade available for your STB.  Would you like to upgrade it now?”  The options are click OK to upgrade now or in 60 seconds it will automatically be upgraded.  There is also a choice for selecting to postpone for 3 hours or remind again in 3 hours. 

If you choose to upgrade, the code is downloaded in about 2 minutes and then the STB reboots.  At that point, you are on the new code and ready to go with the new changes. 

The only changes you will notice is a change with the ‘Last’ button. When you pushe the ‘last’ button to go back to a previously watched channel, you will have to select the channel from the drop down list and press ‘OK’ on the remote. They can no longer just press the ‘last’ button again to go back to the previous channel and have the drop down removed. You will also have the option in their Menu settings to change this option to remove the ‘last 5 channels viewed’ and just have the last button go to the previous channel viewed automatically. 

The only other change you will see is faster guide browsing. Once your upgrade is completed you will see a notice from CTC explaining these changes: 

CTC TV PRIME UPGRADE NOTICE 

We are currently in the process of upgrading our CTC TV Prime service.  After your Set Top Box upgrades, you will notice increased navigation speed while browsing around the guide as well as a change to the functionality of the ‘LAST’ button on your remote control.  By default, you will get a listing of previous channels viewed and will have to press ‘OK’ on your remote to select one from the list.  If you would like to have the ‘LAST’ button directly change to your last previously viewed channel, you can go into your Menu -> Settings -> Television -> Recent Panel and change that option.

 Please call 218-454-1234 with any questions about the service.

 

CTC Board of Directors Elections

Consolidated Telecommunications Company (CTC) is accepting applications from members that are interested in joining the CTC Board of Directors for Director District 4 – Leader, Motley, Pillager, Staples or for District 5- Brainerd, Baxter, Nisswa.

Interested individuals must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be a member in good standing and subscribe to CTC telephone service.
  • Reside within District 4 or District 5 service territory.
  • Have the skills, interest and time to devote to overseeing CTC business.
  • Attend 12 monthly meetings, plus other industry assemblies and training.

Members of the CTC Board of Directors are responsible for representing the Cooperative membership and for developing strategies, policies and objectives for the Cooperative.  

Those interested in becoming a candidate for District 4 or District 5 should contact our office at 218-454-1120 for an application.

Applications must be received by February 28, 2014.

Kevin Larson, our CEO/General Manager at CTC was interviewed by Fox 9 Twin Cities concerning Call Completion issues in rural Minnesota. Here is the story from Fox 9.

 http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/24451827/dropped-calls-minn-commerce-commissioner-urges-probe