UTC and RBI Forge New Operating Unit

Washington, D.C.─  The Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) announced that the Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) has joined UTC as an independent operating unit, chaired by Mike Keyser, chief executive officer of BARC Electric Corporation in Millboro, Va.  The Council also announced that Bob Hance, chief executive officer of Midwest Energy Cooperative in Cassopolis, Mich., will join UTC’s Board of Directors to Chair the Rural Issues Committee.

UTC President and CEO, Connie Durcsak stated, “RBI is a visionary group of rural electric co-operatives who are responding to their member customers’ appeals for access to broadband.  Not only will their customers reap the obvious benefits afforded by ready access to high-speed Internet services in the areas of commerce, education, and healthcare, but also as the utilities themselves leverage these broadband networks to deploy smart grid and related applications, their customers will realize compound benefit in the form of improved power quality and outage management as well as reduced energy costs.  UTC is proud to join RBI in this mission.  Together we will connect the parts of our country that current economic models and policies have left behind.”

“The mission and objectives of UTC align very closely with those of RBI and our individual strengths are a perfect compliment. Merging with UTC is a natural fit and creates a strong voice for rural America,” said Keyser. “A strategic, comprehensive, and nationally-organized effort to deploy broadband does not exist for rural America today. Combining UTC’s resources and influence with RBI’s capabilities and expertise in building rural infrastructure, creates that strong national voice with an unwavering focus.”

With existing infrastructure and right-of-ways, proven abilities in making investment decisions on rural infrastructure timelines, and steadfast devotion to their member-owners, both organizations believe that rural electric cooperatives are the perfect organizations to oversee the development of broadband in rural spaces.

“This effort is the result of great teamwork and an acknowledgement that operations, technology, and strategic policies need to come together to ensure success,” said Durcsak. “Combined, UTC and RBI have the wherewithal to move from ideas to implementation of broadband solutions.”

About UTC

Utility information and communications technology (ICT) is integral to reliable and secure utility services. UTC is the premier trade association for information, telecommunications, and operations technologies to identify, innovate and enable mission critical solutions for essential utility services. Since 1948, UTC is the source and resource for ICT solutions, collaboration and advocacy for utilities and other critical infrastructure industries.

About RBI

The Rural Broadband Initiative (RBI) is a grassroots movement dedicated to bringing high-speed internet service to un-served and underserved customers of living in rural America.  RBI works with federal, state and local governments, non-profit organizations and foundations, national and statewide associations, and other rural broadband stakeholders to advocate and create opportunities for the development and deployment of rural broadband solutions.

– See more at: https://www.utc.org/press-release/utc-and-rbi-forge-new-operating-unit#sthash.kj5xRh2U.dpuf

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