Highland Earns Smart Rural Community Designation
After an investment of more than $65 million to upgrade to fiber across the Highland Telephone Cooperative service area, Morgan County, Tennessee, was recently recognized as a Smart Rural Community by NTCA–The Rural Broadband Association.
To help present the award in late August, HTC General Manager Mark Patterson was joined by Taylre Beaty, broadband program director for the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Morgan County Executive Brian Langley and Jamie Susskind, technology policy advisor for U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn.
“Broadband is such an important part of communication and an integral part of infrastructure,” Langley says. “We’re fortunate to have Highland leading the way for broadband capabilities in Morgan County. We look forward to many more years of working together to make us one of the leaders in broadband statewide.”
Highland joins Tennessee Broadband Association members Ben Lomand Connect, DTC, NCTC and Twin Lakes as Smart Rural Communities.
“The interest and investment in Tennessee broadband is phenomenal,” NTCA CEO Shirley Bloomfield says. “We were incredibly honored when Governor Lee declared Smart Rural Community Day in Tennessee last September, and I’m excited for the future opportunities that will come because of fiber. I’m thankful for the work done by Highland to create another Smart Rural Community in Tennessee. Congratulations to Highland!”
The potential for future growth also has many excited throughout the community.
“Offering fiber has the ability to create an economic boom,” Patterson says. “Several industries have come in and they’re drawn here because we have gig services. We’re honored to earn this designation and I’m so proud of our employees for their work to make it happen.”