Smart Rural Communities: Economic Development and Broadband
Vernon Telephone Cooperative in Westby, Wisconsin, began in 1950 and now serves nearly 7,000 members with broadband high-speed internet, telephone and digital television. Their mission is to provide the latest telecommunication technology and promote economic development in the communities they serve.
Over the last several years, Vernon Telephone Cooperative has provided many of its members throughout Vernon County with fiber optics; the most advanced network available in broadband technology. In 2006, Vernon Telephone Cooperative began one of the first fiber optic construction over builds in Viroqua, WI a community of 4,400 people.
From 2013-2014, Vernon buried over 600 miles of fiber to rural homes and businesses in their serving area and this summer, Vernon Telephone plans to bury an additional 370 miles. This ambitious multiyear project will cost nearly $25 million dollars and when completed, all members of Vernon Telephone will have fiber-to-the-premise (FTTP).
Vernon Telephone Cooperative is one of 13 rural communications firms in North America to be honored with the Smart Rural Community Showcase Award by the National Telephone Cooperative Association (NTCA), which recognizes Vernon Telephone Cooperative’s advanced communications services and collaboration with local leaders in agriculture, health care, public safety and education, as keys to its success. A Smart Rural Community leverages their broadband network for a wide range of applications that meet consumer, business, government and institutional needs to remain competitive in the global economy.
Tune in to hear Emily Rozeske, Member Relations Manager for Vernon Tel., talk about their model in our April 16 High Speed Bits