Company News

North Central endorsed as a “Gig-Capable Provider” by NTCA

GIG_SealNorth Central is once again receiving national recognition for the quality of services the cooperative provides to local residents. NCTC was awarded the designation of being a “Gig-Capable Provider” by NTCA—The Rural Broadband Association. Being “Gig Certified” denotes that speeds of up to 1 Gbps, or 1,000 Mbps, are available from NCTC.

NTCA is an organization representing nearly 900 independent, community-based telecommunications companies and their interests in national government affairs. North Central is one of only 23 cooperatives to be initially “Gig-Certified” by NTCA.

“After being honored as a Smart Rural Community by NTCA in 2014, it’s an incredible accomplishment to be recognized as a ‘Gig-Capable Provider,’” says Nancy White, CEO of North Central. “It’s a testament to the hard work of our employees and their commitment to make our community a better place.”

Santa is ready for your calls and emails!

Hey, Kids! Santa and his elves are busy getting ready at the North Pole, so don’t forget to call or email your Christmas list to Santa this year! Call 615-67-SANTA (615-677-2682) or email your list to St. Nick at santa@nctc.com. North Central will make sure Santa gets your list this season!

NCTC adds broadband to new area communities

Those living in North Central’s service area have access to some of the fastest Internet speeds available — faster than the speeds that can be found in many large cities.
Areas where broadband is currently available include: Lafayette, Maple Grove, Fairgrounds, Golf, Bledsoe Creek, Harris, Bethpage, Westmoreland, Pleasant Shade, Siloam, Barefoot, Clark Hollow, Oakgrove, Hogback, Fairfield, Defeated, Womack, School, Crosslanes, Keystone, East (Galen Road) and Memaw.
NCTC is working on the Petroleum area near Adolphus, Kentucky, and hopes to have broadband available in December.

Your shows are on the move with Watch TV Everywhere

You don’t have to leave your favorite television shows, movies and sports behind while you’re away from home this winter. TV Everywhere from NCTV gives members the ability to catch all the biggest games on channels like ESPN and the NFL Network. Plus, channels like Hallmark, Lifetime and ABC Family broadcast hundreds of timeless holiday movies this season. By using Watch TV Everywhere from North Central, you can view your TV shows anytime and anywhere — from home computers, smartphones and tablets. Wherever you go, your favorite TV shows go with you.

Watch NCTV for all the local Christmas parades this season

Stay warm without missing any holiday festivities this winter! NCTV subscribers can enjoy all of the area’s Christmas parades from the comfort of their homes. Each of the area parades will be shown, including Lafayette, Red Boiling Springs, Westmoreland, Scottsville and Bethpage. Check the NCTV listings for the dates and times of each parade

Congratulations to NCTC’s loyal employees!

North Central would like to thank its employees for their dedicated service to the cooperative. Recently, nine employees were acknowledged for 145 years of combined service to NCTC.

EmployeeAnniversaries

Pictured are (left to right): Wayne Hesson (35 years), Ricky Rather (25 years), Matt Wyatt (15 years), Shay Tom Clariday (15 years), Dianne Deering (30 years), Linda Mowell (10 years), Amy Jent (5 years), Dondi Malone (5 years) and, not pictured, Laura Law (5 years).

Congratulations, Judy!

Judy Petty Retirement

After more than 23 years of working for the cooperative, Customer Service Representative Judy Petty has retired from North Central. During her time with NCTC, Petty helped the cooperative transition to providing more telecommunications possibilities, including high-speed broadband Internet. As part of her retirement, Petty says she plans to spend time with friends, maybe get a boat and go fishing, and spend time with her grandkids.

NCTC breaks ground on Mt. Zion/Amos community fiber addition

The Mt. Zion/Amos community will soon be the latest area touched by the limitless potential of North Central’s new fiber network. The broadband technology provides the potential for new educational opportunities, improved health care and greater industrial development.

NCTC held an official groundbreaking ceremony at the East Allen Fire Department in Amos, Kentucky, in late 2014. North Central was notified in October that NCTC had been awarded the Connected Community grant for $1.7 million from the Rural Utilities Service to build fiber to the members who live in the Mt. Zion community and the southern, underserved portion of the Amos community. The buildout will cover 22 square miles and 354 residents.

“It’s a privilege to provide fiber to this wonderful community,” says Nancy White, CEO of North Central. “I’d love to know just some of the changes future generations will deliver because of this new network.”

During the groundbreaking, NCTC was proud to host the Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service acting administrator Jasper Schneider, former RUS administrator Hilda Legg, RUS State Director of Tennessee Bobby Goode, RUS Kentucky State Director Tom Fern, Kentucky State Representative Wilson Stone, and Terry Kokinda and David Collett of RUS.

NCTC adds fiber service in five new locations

North Central is pushing ahead, adding ultra-fast fiber to more areas throughout its service region. The new fiber connections will give members living and working in these areas access to Internet speeds faster than what’s currently available in Nashville and several other much larger cities.

NCTC lineman Eric Ramsey installs fiber for a resident.

NCTC lineman Eric Ramsey installs fiber for a resident.

NCTC is nearing completion on construction in the School/Highway 52 East, East/Galen Road areas in Lafayette, Keystone (Gap of the Ridge area), Cross Lanes (Oakdale/Wixtown area) and Barefoot (northern part of the Rocky Mound area). Construction recently began in the Drapers Cross Road area and Petroleum in Allen County.

In addition to these communities, construction is complete and service is currently available in the following areas: Fairfield, Pleasant Shade, Defeated, Oak Grove, Pleasant Hill, Mount Vernon, Bethpage, Westmoreland, Maple Grove, Fairground and Golf Course areas, as well as within the Lafayette city limits.

Welcome to your Smart Rural Community

Focus on building a fiber network earns North Central a national award and an invitation to the White House

By Patrick Smith

North Central CEO Nancy White, center, is joined by fellow business leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C.

North Central CEO Nancy White, center, is joined by fellow business leaders at the White House in Washington, D.C.

At its core, the most important value North Central Telephone Cooperative provides is community service. NCTC is comprised of a team of individuals who work each day to make the entire Upper Cumberland a better place to live, work and raise a family.

The cooperative was recently honored at the national level for its work. North Central was awarded the Smart Rural Community award by NCTA—The Rural Broadband Association. The Smart Rural Community program was created as a way to recognize cooperatives that are promoting and using broadband networks to foster innovative economic development, education, health care and government services.

“It’s quite an honor to be named a Smart Rural Community,” says Nancy White, North Central’s CEO. “This award not only acknowledges our work to build this modern infrastructure, but it shines a spotlight on how leaders in this region are using that technology to foster economic growth, improve health care and advance opportunities in education.”

The communities served by North Central are rich with hardworking residents and pristine natural beauty. However, the lack of access to major rail, river and highway transportation has traditionally been an obstacle to creating jobs and retaining residents.

North Central’s leaders recognized these challenges and decided it was the cooperative’s responsibility to find a solution. The NCTC team knew a modern communications system could provide solutions to these challenges and, in 2010, began building an advanced fiber optic network.

This network allows North Central to offer broadband Internet, television, phone service and more across a network that provides speeds rivaling (and even exceeding) what much larger telecommunications companies are able to provide in metro areas.

White, right, speaks on behalf of NCTC’s members during a meeting of the White House Rural Council.

White, right, speaks on behalf of NCTC’s members during a meeting of the White House Rural Council.

North Central’s work to build its network was only part of what earned the cooperative the Smart Rural Community designation. An important component to the award was North Central’s efforts to foster partnerships throughout the communities it serves to help citizens benefit from the technology.

“Building the network is just half the battle,” says White. “Fiber technology only starts to change lives when people understand how to use it. Through our relationships with schools, health care providers, businesses and local governments, we are creating a powerful coalition of leaders who can help put the power of broadband to work here in Tennessee and Kentucky — and improve the quality of life for our citizens.”

Following the announcement that North Central was one of only 13 companies nationwide to receive the Smart Rural Community designation, White was invited to Washington, D.C., to a meeting of the White House Rural Council.

“It was a great experience to visit the White House and talk about the impact this cooperative is having in Tennessee and Kentucky,” says White. “Several NTCA staff members were there, including CEO Shirley Bloomfield, along with the CEOs of two other rural telecommunications companies like ours. Being able to visit the White House and tell our story was a great opportunity for North Central and all our members.”

Being a Smart Rural Community is about more than simply building a fiber network. The following stories show how broadband technology is making a difference in this region; these examples were part of the reason NTCA selected North Central for this honor.

HEALTH CARE

HealthCareThe new fiber technology at Macon County General Hospital and The Medical Center in Scottsville, Kentucky, has helped bring patients the best possible care. Before fiber, MCGH did not have the ability to send X-rays electronically for examination at another hospital. With fiber, a scan can now be read almost instantly.

The fiber connection also allows MCGH to use a telemedicine machine that connects with a doctor in a nearby city, such as Nashville, via real-time video. The doctor can diagnose patients experiencing a variety of problems, such as stroke symptoms, or perform a behavioral health and psychiatric evaluation.

Thomas Kidd, CFO, says MCGH was among the first six hospitals named a Stage 1 Meaningful Use Hospital by Healthcare Management Systems. The designation highlights MCGH’s ability to deal with payments and electronic records quickly through the hospital’s high-speed broadband connection.

BUSINESS

Having a reliable network connection is a vital part of any industry. It directly affects customer service and productivity. Our local banks are an excellent example of how having a dependable broadband provider can impact day to day operations. BankingDowntime is not an option, and immediate response is required. Bank officials say the best parts of working with NCTC are the high quality network and the local point of contact.

Whether a branch is in the same town or several miles away, NCTC connects them quickly so employees can serve their customers faster than ever. In addition to a strong Broadband network, a unified phone system allows one branch to call another as easily as if they were in the office next door.

Larger cities dream of having the technology we have here in rural Tennessee and Kentucky.

EDUCATION

School2Technology is vital for a student’s success in the classroom — from kindergarten to high school. Elementary teachers are using technology to teach engaging lessons, and high schools are connecting to classrooms around the world through video.

Current state testing requires broadband access for teachers to administer tests and for students to take assessments. With as many as 300 students needing to take tests online at the same time, it was impossible to properly conduct state-mandated tests at Westmoreland High School on its previous network connection. The school’s broadband connection from North Central assures students and teachers they will have the bandwidth necessary to successfully and accurately meet testing requirements. Broadband also provides new virtual and distance learning opportunities for students.

“Many of the challenges we faced before have been eliminated,” says Rick Duffer, principal of Westmoreland High School.

AGRICULTURE

The image of a farmer waking before the crack of dawn and working hard until after sundown hasn’t changed for today’s farming professionals. But for those who make their living in agriculture, technology has become a tool that is just as important as the tractor or electricity. Agriculture

“A lot of our farmers are becoming more and more technical,” says Steve Walker, University of Tennessee Macon County extension agent. “They’re using computers, tablets and smartphones every day for farming.”

From tractors equipped with an automated steering system, to grain and livestock market reports, to soil and chemical testings and yield monitoring, technology plays a vital role for modern, tech-savvy cultivators by increasing their efficiency and lowering their expenses.

NCTC receives $1.7 million grant to provide broadband to Mt. Zion and Amos

North Central held a groundbreaking ceremony in December to celebrate the cooperative’s $1.7 million grant to provide broadband to much of Mt. Zion and Amos, Kentucky.

The grant, awarded by the Rural Utilities Service Connected Community Grant, is awarded to ensure that fiber is available to members who live in the currently unserviced community. While North Central already provides fiber to several areas in its Kentucky service area, there are some areas where service is limited because of the cost.

“As soon as we learned there was money available, we got to work,” says Nancy White, North Central CEO. “This grant is extremely important because people in this area currently cannot get many of our high-speed services, and some can only receive our telephone service.”

The project is scheduled to be completed in three years, but White says she expects it will be completed much sooner. Once finished, residents will have access to NCTC’s television services, as well as its blazing-fast fiber Internet speeds.

629 area code

By now, you’ve likely read or heard about the north central portion of Tennessee adding the new 629 area code to its existing 615 and how this will affect the way you dial local phone numbers.

The new area code, which is being implemented to meet the demand for more telephone numbers in the region, will require all northern middle Tennessee telephone users to dial the area code before every local phone call. This is known as 10-digit dialing. Local calls will remain local; the only change will be that you must dial the area code first. All existing numbers will continue using the 615 area code.

After February 28, 2015, seven-digit calls dialed without the area code will not be connected.

For more information, please visit www.state.tn.us/tra/ or call NCTC customer service at 615-666-2151.

Take advantage of Watch TV EVERYWHERE and Remote DVR from North Central

Watching your favorite television programs doesn’t mean you have to be in front of the TV anymore. By using Watch TV EVERYWHERE from North Central, you can view your TV shows anytime and anywhere — home computers, smartphones and tablets — anywhere you go, your favorite TV shows go with you. And if you know you’re going to miss your shows, now you can program your North Central DVR to record a program while you’re away. It doesn’t matter if you’re at the ballpark or on vacation, with Remote DVR from NCTV, you can set your DVR to record your shows from a mobile device while you’re on the go.