2023 Broadband Awards

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Announcing the 2023 Broadband Award Winners!

Congratulations! Our customers are focused on an excellent subscriber experience as they expand and help close the digital divide. They are true champions of their communities, and we are proud to recoginize this group, and look forward to hearing more of your stories next year.

The awards were presented at eLation eLevate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Read on to learn more about each awardee.

2023 Broadband Award Winners

Marketing Excellence: Chariton Valley

Chariton Valley provides business and residential services to Northeast Missouri. They received the Marketing Excellence award as they stand apart from their competitors through marketing campaigns, leveraging social media, and communicating product or service launches effectively.

Chariton Valley content features new fiber build announcements, staff spotlights, new products and services along with community posts. They created Win it Wednesdays giveaway posts to build interaction and gain followers. Chariton Valley is a great example of utilizing social media effectively to communicate holiday closings and policy changes. Both page likes and followers far surpass similar competitors in their market.

Fiber Milestone: HCI

The Fiber Milestone Award celebrates fiber achievements, including new fiber installs, years offering fiber broadband or reaching 100% fiber.

HCI is currently celebrating their 90th year in business. They started as a small family owned telephone company in Galva, KS in 1933, and they are 4th and 5th generation owners and employees. Today, HCI serves 621 square miles with over 1,000 fiber route miles, and have100% deployed Fiber to the Home Technology.

Subscriber Excellence: South Slope

The Subscriber Excellence award is for customers who have made significant improvements in subscriber experience measurements, including NPS and CSAT scores. This award is given to a provider who has worked diligently to improve the subscriber experience and brand reputation in their community.

South Slope’s NPS score has increased 49% from 41 to 61 since 2018, and we are proud to recoginize that accomplishment. Their subscribers shared feedback about their positive experiences with the South Slope Team:

“Every time we’ve had an issue, which is very seldom, South Slope has come out and solved the problem within the same day. Great company to deal with and they take care of their customers.”

“Excellent customer service, took their time, listened, went out of their way to get me the best service for my family’s particular needs.”

“I’ve been using South Slope for several years for both my Residential and Business services and have always had excellent service!”

Accomplishments in Closing the Digital Divide: Winnebago Cooperative Telecom Association

The award for Accomplishments in Closing the Digital Divide is given to a provider who has demonstrated a commitment to access, education and affordability. WCTA serves a rural area within Northen Iowa and Southern Minnesota, with a 100% fiber optic network, since 2021.

WCTA recently received Re-Connect 3 funding for unserved and underserved areas in eastern Freeborn County, Minnesota. They plan to begin construction next year and complete construction within a 3-year timeframe. This area includes 6 rural communities. WCTA takes part in the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) and their internet service boasts a 96% penetration rate of total membership and continues to grow.

Customer Success: Ritter Communications

The Customer Success Award is for providers who are meeting and exceeding the needs of their customers. These providers go above and beyond to provide service and satisfaction to their customers every step of the way.

Ritter, serving mid-south US saw high call volumes from customers experiencing billing or service-related issues, with a high frequency of repeat trouble. In response to this problem, they built a modern customer experience platform that could track and analyze the voice of the customer, to create a smooth integration process. Since implementing a new Feedback Management platform, they’ve seen a 52 point increase in NPS, a 30% increase in customer satisfaction and a 25% increase in Network Performance. Their town mayor Bill Edwards says, “The services Ritter Communications are bringing to our community will ensure families have access to all they need to learn and play.”

Excellence in Expansion: FMTC of Stanton

The Excellence in Expansion award is for providers who are going above and beyond to tackle the demands of current subscribers while growing and expanding their network.

FMTC set a goal of expanding their Fiber-to-the-Home reach within 4 counties in their serving area that were underserved. They completed 2 USDA Reconnect project areas costing over $15 million at completion, and were among the first in the country to finish a large Reconnect project. FMTC has turned up 797 new fiber Internet customers (plus about 25 CLEC business customers) since November of 2022.

Community Champion: NCTC

The Community Champion Award highlights a provider that has positively impacted their surrounding community. They are volunteering their time within the local community and making it a priority to give back to the communities they serve. 

NCTC’s investment in network growth has supported a new hospital ER expansion and other community pillars. They support local organizations through volunteering, Cyber Security training, and grant funding for Foundation for Rural Services. They are great partners, working with the Warren Rural Electric Coop to bring rural communities broadband. One of their local farmers, George Mcdonald says, “Having fiber broadband has really helped our business in so many ways. It allows us to have video meetings with different boards across the state. It’s been able to change how we do business. That’s all thanks to NCTC for installing fiber.”