United was recently recognized by NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association as a Smart Rural Community℠ (SRC) provider and a Certified Gig-Capable Provider for delivering gigabit broadband speeds and enabling technological innovation in Southwest Kansas communities.
SRC is a national network of communities powered by innovative rural broadband providers that are building a brighter future for small-town America. The program promotes rural broadband and its role in supporting innovative economic development, effective education, efficient energy distribution and use, state-of-the-art health care, and other critical issues for rural America.
As a Certified Gig-Capable Provider, United joins a national campaign to build awareness and industry recognition of community-based telecom providers that have built communications networks capable of delivering Internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second, which is 100 times faster than those currently available in many U.S. households.
“United has been committed to providing the best available communications services to its member-owners for over 70 years. Our investment in a robust fiber to the home/business infrastructure is another way of showing our continued growth in providing robust and scalable voice and broadband services for the next generation,” said United General Manager/CEO Todd Houseman. “We are in the final year of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar project that began in 2016 and are extremely proud to bring high-speed broadband services to every single member of our cooperative.”
In order to receive recognition as an SRC provider, United was required to affirm that it offers high-speed broadband service to the majority of its service area; that it has broadband subscription adoption rates of at least 50%; and that it is committed to program principles of collaboration and innovation.
To achieve certification as a Gig-Capable Provider, United demonstrated that gigabit technology is currently commercially available within 95% of one or more exchanges within its serving territory and that such service can be provided without new trenching or stringing new aerial facilities. This statement must be confirmed by a letter from an engineering firm or other independent source involved in the company’s network planning, deployment, or operation.
NTCA Chief Executive Officer Shirley Bloomfield also recognized United for this achievement, noting, “We are so excited to welcome another provider into this growing network of innovative broadband providers delivering the Internet’s fastest speeds in some of the most remote and rural communities of our country. I applaud United for their commitment to enabling cutting-edge technologies that drive innovation and promote economic development in their region and nationwide.”
United currently offers gigabit fiber Internet service in the following rural areas: Ashland, Cimarron, Copeland, Englewood, Ford, Hanston, Ingalls, Kalvesta, Kingsdown, Montezuma, Pierceville, Spearville, and Sitka. United is in the process of expanding its gigabit fiber Internet service to Ensign and rural Spearville by the end of the year.
Headquartered in Dodge City, Kansas, the United Family of Companies is committed to being the most trusted and customer-focused provider of sustainable communications solutions in Southwest Kansas. Established in 1951, United provides state-of-the-art Internet, television, wireless phone, and landline phone services and has a strong commitment to strengthening Southwest Kansas communities and enriching the lives of its members and customers.
About NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association
The Rural Broadband Association is the premier association representing nearly 850 independent, community-based telecommunications companies that are leading innovation in rural and small-town America. NTCA members are leading the technological evolution for rural consumers, delivering robust and high-quality services over future-proof networks that make rural communities vibrant places in which to live and do business.