For many, the need to connect is becoming as vital as food and water. Over three billion people and counting are connecting to family, friends and colleagues via voice, video, text, email and social media. In order to keep these communications channels robust, service providers are upgrading or laying down a superhighway of networks that can facilitate Gigabit speeds.
Over the past year, ADTRAN has seen communities all over the country begin to prioritize Gigabit services as the underlying infrastructure for economic growth. Ultra-fast broadband allows easier streaming, better connectivity and the bandwidth to support all types of mobile devices. This change is creating a foundation for how humans communicate today, and how future generations communicate down the road.
ADTRAN is committed to providing the infrastructure for uninterrupted global connectivity, so it’s easy to see why we have teamed up to support Frontier Communications, DISH Network, CoBank and The Weather Channel and their exciting community transformation initiative, America’s Best Communities. As a mentor for the City of Valparaiso, Indiana, ADTRAN will utilize the expertise gained from our Enabling Communities, Connecting Lives (ECCL) program, and link it to the initiative’s goal of helping communities realize their aspirations in leveraging technology to transform the way they live, work and play.
The city of Valparaiso is home to just over 30,000 residents, and to Valparaiso University, which accommodates roughly 4,500 students a year. With nearly two dozen K-12 schools, a cultural center, museums, theaters and shopping centers, the community is brimming with excitement about being named a quarterfinalist in the competition. The partnership between ADTRAN and Valparaiso will compliment the high level of civic engagement already found in the city by local businesses and residents. The America’s Best Communities competition is helping bring the community together as it jumpstarts economic development and reinvestment in rural America.
Supporting Frontier’s America’s Best Communities is essentially an extension of our ECCL program. Both aim to transform business and residential communities by enabling economic development and overall growth. We’ve been lucky to see firsthand how communities experience significant growth thanks to enhanced technology infrastructure. As a program partner, we expect Valparaiso to experience similar results.
If you’re unfamiliar with Frontier’s America’s Best Communities program, ADTRAN is joining several other corporate partners to mentor one of the 50 quarterfinalist communities as they move through the final stages of the contest. With $10 million on the table, the stakes are high in developing unique and innovative programs. Fifteen semifinalists will be selected in January 2016 to present their plans at the America’s Best Communities summit. Eight finalists will then receive additional funding to bring the project to life. The top three winners—those with the most innovative and effective proposals—will be announced in April 2017.
Gary Bolton is Vice President, Global Relations at ADTRAN